Manchester United must not turn to physicality in their attempts to neutralize Erling Haaland.
This is according to former Manchester City star Joleon Lescott, who reiterated that the United defensive duo must explore another tactic to stop the dangerous Norwegian.
When the two sides met earlier in the season, Manchester City ran out 6-3 winners in a demolition of United at the Etihad.
This time however feels different with the Red Devils currently on a brilliant winning streak. Pep Guardiola and Ilkay Gundogan have themselves pointed this out as the mind games go into full swing ahead of the crucial tie.
Lescott said, “I think Martinez and Varane tried to get physical with him [Haaland]. I remember a couple of instances where Haaland just kind of manhandled them – and he enjoys that.”
“So there has to be a different approach because the outcome wasn’t positive for them as individuals or as a team. It’s a case of recognising what didn’t work in the last game and changing that. Ben Godfrey tried, but Haaland still scored in that game.”
“Your objective is for Haaland not to score and Godfrey did exceptionally well that game overall. But he’ll still have come off disappointed, having let Haaland score.”
As per Lescott, United must seek to cut off the supply to Haaland as opposed to focusing on the striker.
This would involve shutting out players like Kevin de Bruyne, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo just to mention a few.
Lescott insisted that the only way to keep Haaland from finding the back of the net is to stop him from receiving the ball and keeping him from getting involved in Manchester City’s general play.
He added that a player of Haaland’s calibre only needs a moment of inspiration and brilliance to come up with the goods and down Erik ten Hag’s men.
The ex-City man backed his former side to get a result against their bitter rivals tomorrow.
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