Wolves manager Bruno Lage has explained the tactics he used to defeat Ralf Rangnick’s Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese boss secured a historic 1-0 win for his side and it’s safe to say he knew exactly what to do to get all three points.
Bruno Lage just casually deconstructing Manchester United’s whole set up in 3 minutes is some watch. Impressive. pic.twitter.com/MAvlyA4Dud
— Jonathan Fadugba (@JFfutbol) January 3, 2022
The interviewer certainly did brilliantly to ask the questions needed to get the exact answers on how Wolves broke United down.
It appears as though Lage targetted the wide areas, in particular the Red Devils’ full-back positions and was prepared to make changes mid-match too.
It seems that Lage wanted to see whether Shaw and Wan-Bissaka would be tasked with providing width high up the pitch for Manchester United.
If they were, and indeed they were, then he wanted to exploit the space behind them with his own wing-backs.
Rangnick admitted Wolves’ strong numbers in midfield meant United struggled to dominate possession and so he adapted his formation in the second half.
However, by then the damage was seemingly done and Lage’s smart decision to attack the Red Devils’ narrow formation by using width had yielded results.
Rangnick has previously insisted the two number 10s in his formation play a crucial role in protecting his full-backs, especially since the latter are expected to provide width.
In essence, if done correctly, the formation allows for overloads in attack by keeping possession in dangerous areas with vertical passes whilst simultaneously having enough numbers back to prevent the counter-attack.
However, this relies upon the number 10s getting into the right positions in attack and also getting back frequently enough to protect their full-backs. It’s safe to say United did neither on the night.