Yes it was a much improved performance on Tuesday night, the like of which we have seldom seen this season. Despite the fact that Manchester United had very little possession in the home leg, they looked dangerous when they did have the ball and, but for a terrible miss by Danny Welbeck when through on goal, United may even have come away with a victory.
But it still wasn’t not enough for our money. It’s simply an illustration of how far Manchester United shave fallen this season that a home draw is being applauded. A score draw no less. This means of course that Bayern simply have to keep things as they are to progress. They don’t need to score. They simply need to stop a highly cautious Manchester United from doing so. And with their forte being possession, you might imagine that their statistics will be even higher in Munich.
We feel that David Moyes was, as expected, too defensive at Old Trafford. Too much on the back foot. When Manchester United did get forward they scared the opposition. But they didn’t do it enough.
Bayern may be the machine-like champions of Europe but we would take them any day over Real Madrid or Barcelona – teams that can cut you to the quick in a few seconds.
Robben apart Bayern are much more of a slow build up side. They advance a metre at a time until they are almost on top of the goal. Pep Guardiola has instilled the same tactics as he did in his previous job but the difference is that Barcelona had better players. They were able to execute the tactic in a much more dangerous and exhilarating manner.
Bayern are of course an excellent side and Arjen Robben is easily one of the most dangerous players in Europe. But we still feel that Manchester United missed their chance to take the initiative in the home leg.
So the 1-1 draw is being lauded not because it’s a great scoreline but because the expectation level at Manchester United has plummeted.
Expect to see David Moyes employ exactly the same anti-football tactics in the return leg. But with the crowd behind the opposition and the possession rate even higher for Bayern, it could be a long night for Manchester United if they continue with their ‘tortoise shell’ approach.
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