Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been asked directly where Manchester United’s game with Liverpool went wrong.

Solskjaer’s tactics were picked apart by Jurgen Klopp’s side, who were 4-0 up by half-time as United’s gameplan was left in tatters.

Some United fans were frustrated that Solskjaer was not asked specific tactical questions in the first part of his pre-match press conference.

In the second part, he was asked what went wrong with the strategy in the 5-0 thrashing.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
(Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images)


“Nothing went to plan. But I think the first chance we get, Fred’s won the ball, played the ball through. Great vision from Mason to put Bruno through,” he said.

“I think Fred had about seven or eight recoveries up there. But being 2-0 down, when we get the third down, we had to go for it, but nothing went to plan.

“You get criticised when you play two defensive midfielders. This year we’ve tried to release one of the midfielders forwards. With more players behind the ball, we’ve been more open to counter-attacks.

“We’ve played a few games where we’ve thought ‘maybe you’re too open there’ so we’ve gone back to Scott and Fred on Sunday, but we were too open.

“There’s no hiding we’ve been too open, but part of this reason is we’ve had to go for it. We’ve had poor starts and that’s not easy. We’ve been trying to make up for being knocked down in the first half.”

Manchester United Training Session
(Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Solskjaer is right when he talks about United being too open this season, not just in the Liverpool game.

The solution to that is not just to go back to two holding midfielders. If there is disjointed pressing up front, that leaves so much space behind that no midfield could cover it.

United are too stretched and not compact enough. The easiest way to rectify that is to sit deep and counter against Tottenham today.

But long term, that is not how a team with title ambitions should play and that is the stage Solskjaer’s squad should be at.

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