Home » Out with the old: Erik ten Hag has new-look defence firing on all cylinders

Out with the old: Erik ten Hag has new-look defence firing on all cylinders

Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw face tough task as they look to make their way back into starting XI

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Erik ten Hag’s unchanged Manchester United side got the better of Leicester City 1-0 on Thursday with Jadon Sancho proving to be the match-winner.

Three wins have now arrived on the bounce and even more importantly two successive clean sheets which will give the team a lot of confidence going into Sunday’s fierce clash against Arsenal.

They have climbed up to fifth in the Premier League table and it has been quite a turnaround in terms of performance, especially from the defensive unit.

It was far from vintage United at times but they hardly allowed the Foxes into the game. Apart from a James Maddison free-kick, David de Gea hardly had any saves to make.

The Dutch manager seems to have zeroed in on his preferred back four and that will make it a tough ask for the likes of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw to come back into the first XI.

The camera kept panning to the likes of Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo as they sat on the bench but they know now that Ten Hag is the one that calls the shots and he will want to work on his own terms.

Despite being on a yellow, Diogo Dalot defended admirably and after a crucial block, he was all pumped as the entire defensive unite high-fived each other.

This has become a regular occurrence since Ten Hag changed personnel ahead of the Liverpool game.

Raphael Varane was outstanding as he calmly marshalled the back-line and was faultless throughout the game. And Lisandro Martinez’s aggressive approach is definitely working despite several pundits continuing to question him.

Tyrell Malacia’s energy levels were excellent once again as he constantly bombed up and down the left flank, combining well with Sancho and Marcus Rashford.

The best part about all this is United still have firepower to come into the side in the form of Antony and with the defence standing tall, the attackers can certainly play with a lot of freedom.

Sir Alex Ferguson always used to say that defence wins you titles and Ten Hag being a former defender, has certainly got a reaction from the back four.

Table-toppers Arsenal will represent another huge challenge for the new-look Red Devils but fans can at least be rest assured the team will give it their all.

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