It's improved tempo that did it!

devips

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Last night, post the slow-moving, lackadaisical first half, the team came back with a much improvped tempo in the second, and Atalanta were clearly not ready or able to cope with the fast, often one touch interaction between United players, so much so, that they had to concede 3 yellows in the span of 5 minutes to stop our forwards. Ultimately, they caved in.

For me, the question is why can't we keep up this tempo consistently in all our games. Particularly when this is Ole's main objective too?
 

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I personally think it was the atmosphere that ultimately lifted the players in the second half. Once Rashford scored the roar of the crowd just got to Atalanta. It was inevitable from there on United would get something out of the game. It even gave energy to Ronaldo who was defending and pressing in the second half. Pogba coming on also helped with passing the ball forward which McTominay failed to do most of the game.

Big shout out to Van Bissaka who probably had his best game this season in the second half.
 

KiD MoYeS

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The tempo was there in the first half, before going a goal down I was thinking Pogba cannot be facilitated in this team if they want to play quickly through the midfield. Pogba did play well when he came on to be fair but he tends to play at his own pace or drifts in and out of games. The atmosphere played a part too definitely.
 

Chief123

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Last night, post the slow-moving, lackadaisical first half, the team came back with a much improvped tempo in the second, and Atalanta were clearly not ready or able to cope with the fast, often one touch interaction between United players, so much so, that they had to concede 3 yellows in the span of 5 minutes to stop our forwards. Ultimately, they caved in.

For me, the question is why can't we keep up this tempo consistently in all our games. Particularly when this is Ole's main objective too?
You have to bear in mind the context of the game. They were 2-0 up at half time. Atlanta’s game plan second half was to just hold on to the lead and see the game out.

The worrying thing is when they pressed us and were on the front foot we looked a mess at the back. It seems to be the case any time a team comes to old trafford now. If they press us and have a go nearly every team is getting rewarded for it.
 

James Peril

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Adrenaline and nothing to lose-attitude, it's nothing to do with tactics. As mentioned in another thread, the tactics were out the window and adrenaline mixed with superior ability helped us win this game. On top of that, English teams are much, much fitter than Italian teams over 90 minutes.
Atalanta go from blitz to defending with lower blocks protecting the lead, it's the receipe for trouble. They were tired and injury-ridden, the writing was on the wall from the first second.
 

Sultan

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Yes, Pogba does have a tendency to keep hold of the ball longer than needed. However, I also think he needs players around him to move into positions for easy passes. There needs to be at least 2 easy passing options for every midfielder to pass the ball. One of the teams biggest issues we just don't have the players intelligent enough to take up positions to make those passes easy for their teammates. It comes naturally or is instilled into other teams. City and Liverpool are very good at this part of the game.
 

Jezpeza

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Last night, post the slow-moving, lackadaisical first half, the team came back with a much improvped tempo in the second, and Atalanta were clearly not ready or able to cope with the fast, often one touch interaction between United players, so much so, that they had to concede 3 yellows in the span of 5 minutes to stop our forwards. Ultimately, they caved in.

For me, the question is why can't we keep up this tempo consistently in all our games. Particularly when this is Ole's main objective too?
I’ve thought this. I dont know if our gameplan is to pass it round slowly in an effort to control the game or win with minimal effort or something but we are so lethargic from the start. You see other top teams storm into the game and play the way we start when they are 3-0 up. We tend to go behind before we start to play and we dont always get back in it. We just dont play the way we are capable of a lot of the time. You look at teams like villa, everton, southampton where we have scored only one goal or no goal and the lethargic performances and you just know we could have stuck 3 or 4 past them
 

wolvored

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I personally think it was the atmosphere that ultimately lifted the players in the second half. Once Rashford scored the roar of the crowd just got to Atalanta. It was inevitable from there on United would get something out of the game. It even gave energy to Ronaldo who was defending and pressing in the second half. Pogba coming on also helped with passing the ball forward which McTominay failed to do most of the game.

Big shout out to Van Bissaka who probably had his best game this season in the second half.
Yes agree. Pogba and Fred looked better made us more solid in midfield. WB played his best game and the crowd had an effect
 

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I also thought they were a bit naive with their tactics. They hardly wasted time and got on with the game which played into our hands.
 

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To have tempo you need to control the ball, control the game - put it simply - you need to know what you're doing, who's doing it and why.

We neither have the "who" (supposed to be Bruno - but he's to aggressive for that), and we neither have the "why" (that's on Ole and a lack of patterns of coaching).

That leaves us with "what" - and it's usually followed by "the feck".
 

tomaldinho1

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Adrenaline and nothing to lose-attitude, it's nothing to do with tactics. As mentioned in another thread, the tactics were out the window and adrenaline mixed with superior ability helped us win this game. On top of that, English teams are much, much fitter than Italian teams over 90 minutes.
Atalanta go from blitz to defending with lower blocks protecting the lead, it's the receipe for trouble. They were tired and injury-ridden, the writing was on the wall from the first second.
I said this a while back and got slated but it's true.

Ole is too cautious a coach, our initial tactical setup almost always fails. We conceded first to: Atalanta, Villarreal, WHUM x 2, Villa, Southampton. In the games we get ahead, teams adapt like Leicester or Ole makes a defensive call like at Everton where we played really well 1st half and seemed to come out 2nd half looking to preserve a 1-0 lead.

United have an unbelievable team, Cavani, Pogba, Sancho, Matic were our subs last night, it's insane how riddled with quality we are. When the initial setup goes out the window and we chase games, we are excellent and can blow teams out of the water but it takes a brave coach to try to play that way, that's never what Ole is or wants to be. I wouldn't expect we'd approach City, Pool, Bayern etc. like that but it is how we should play against these teams where there is a clear quality gap (not even factoring in they had 5 players out and Demiral then got injured). We have gone behind and been matched/outplayed regularly this season, the tactical setup simply isn't good enough and it's really the same criticism over and over again now. I don't see how even the most ardent Ole supporter isn't massively concerned by what they are seeing.
 

11101

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High tempo requires quick passing and aggressive pressing.

We only have Fred in the midfield who can do the quick passing. Maguire, AWB, Pogba, Matic, McTominay, Greenwood, Rashford don't really play that way. Put simply we have too many players schooled in counter attack who like to get the ball out of their feet and run with it.

We're also rubbish at pressing, some players do it and others don't, so it's impossible to maintain high pressure on an opponent.
 

Bobcat

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Last night, post the slow-moving, lackadaisical first half, the team came back with a much improvped tempo in the second, and Atalanta were clearly not ready or able to cope with the fast, often one touch interaction between United players, so much so, that they had to concede 3 yellows in the span of 5 minutes to stop our forwards. Ultimately, they caved in.

For me, the question is why can't we keep up this tempo consistently in all our games. Particularly when this is Ole's main objective too?
That is the big question, not just this season, but the whole of Oles tenure we have seen this tendancy. Despite the negative mood around here these days, we have shown under Ole we can play some brilliant football, with the results to match, but we can also look like a bunch of plonker who seems to give no fecks

Its this lack of consistency that kills us and what sets us apart from Liverpool and City. They too can have terrible games of course, but i'd say 80% of the time they are playing very close to their top level, where as we seem to do that maybe 30% of the time and thats probably generous.

And before someone says "coaching". Yeah, that too, but imo it goes well beyond that. To me it seems more of a mentality issue, where we look casual and pedestrian and dont wake up until we have to. Last season for example we had WAY too many games where we started out half asleep, conceded some shite goal and only started to play when the pressure was on

Likewise, the team always seems to dig deep and bring out a crucial result when Ole's head is on the block. I really hope he proves me wrong, but its this complete lack of consistency that made me lose faith in Ole this season. Hes been allowed both time and resources now, and the way we played in 2nd half should be our standard, not something we pull out only when the chips are down and we are desperate for a result
 

Xaviboy

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We should just go 2 nil down every game. No excuses should be like that from the moment the game kicks off the tempo of that 2nd half last night.
 

Rajma

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I personally think it was the atmosphere that ultimately lifted the players in the second half. Once Rashford scored the roar of the crowd just got to Atalanta. It was inevitable from there on United would get something out of the game. It even gave energy to Ronaldo who was defending and pressing in the second half. Pogba coming on also helped with passing the ball forward which McTominay failed to do most of the game.

Big shout out to Van Bissaka who probably had his best game this season in the second half.
I think you’re right, also helped by relatively high line played by Atalanta, similarly, to Leeds - we’ll always look threatening against such teams with the players we have and Bruno’s vision. To be fair Bruno moving deeper in the second half made a huge difference as well not sure why we’re not asking to play him there under normal circumstances as he can pick out forwards from deeper positions too - this seems to be such an obvious (and have been for a long time) quick fix to some of our problems.
 

spiriticon

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We need to go a few goals down to anger our players into going Super Saiyan. Only then will you see the maximum tempo.

Instead of going 2 goals down every time, i dunno, can we not hire somebody to constantly insult the players and their families at the warm up each game to get that mojo up?
 

Roux

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They mentioned it in the coverage last night, but Bruno dropping deeper made the difference for me - he was far to high in the first half and left Fred/Scott struggling to find him.
 

el_loco_bielsa

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Yes, Pogba does have a tendency to keep hold of the ball longer than needed. However, I also think he needs players around him to move into positions for easy passes. There needs to be at least 2 easy passing options for every midfielder to pass the ball. One of the teams biggest issues we just don't have the players intelligent enough to take up positions to make those passes easy for their teammates. It comes naturally or is instilled into other teams. City and Liverpool are very good at this part of the game.
I’m not sure it comes naturally unless you have a team of extremely gifted players with an excellent first touch and instinctive tactical ability to continually reposition themselves to create passing lanes (zidane’s CL winning sides come to mind, as does the French side he captained to the World Cup trophy).

Unless you have those sorts of players in virtually every position you have to teach atracking movement, continual repositioning to open up passing lanes, progressive passing through an opposition press into space.

Famously this was what mourinho never taught as a matter of philosophy, believing it should come naturally to attacking players, as Diego Torres describes in his book.

Klopp’s peak dortmund sides are an excellent example of exactly how you can teach inferior players very sophisticated rapid one touch passing and movement through continuous repetition and pattern recognition, thus allowing them to punch significantly above their weight. He’s done similarly at Liverpool, though with superior players at his disposal.

Pep has varied his approach more through the years and the way city play now is different in tempo to his Barca and Bayern sides, more closely approaching the klopp style over and above the continual slow-slow-fast tempo extremely structured juego de posicion he employed at Barca and Bayern.
 
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Camilo

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We didn't win that game, Atalanta lost it. They were 2-0 up away from home and in control, but half time came and their lack of quality, composure and experience showed. They wanted to see the game out and let us have the ball - no team starts games like that, which is why we never start on the front foot. They went from zero pressure/expectation at the start of the game, to favourites at half time, which gave us the initiative.

We shouldn't be in this situation. We shat the bed first half, they shat it second half. Sure we made some changes and played better, but Atalanta let it happen.
 

Skills

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Throwing the kitchen sink at average teams often works. A more astute teams picks you apart
 

youmeletsfly

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We didn't win that game, Atalanta lost it. They were 2-0 up away from home and in control, but half time came and their lack of quality, composure and experience showed. They wanted to see the game out and let us have the ball - no team starts games like that, which is why we never start on the front foot. They went from zero pressure/expectation at the start of the game, to favourites at half time, which gave us the initiative.

We shouldn't be in this situation. We shat the bed first half, they shat it second half. Sure we made some changes and played better, but Atalanta let it happen.
I second this. Atalanta played into our hands after being 2-0 up.
In addition, we scored a few goals in the 2nd half, but let's be honest, nobody ripped Atalanta apart, we didn't play dazzling football, we just scored 3 goals.
 

SuperiorXI

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The tempo was there in the first half, before going a goal down I was thinking Pogba cannot be facilitated in this team if they want to play quickly through the midfield. Pogba did play well when he came on to be fair but he tends to play at his own pace or drifts in and out of games. The atmosphere played a part too definitely.
What??? It was pathetically slow.

Right from kick-off in the second half we were so much quicker. This combined with the crowd clearly rattled Atalanta. I don't understand why we can't start like that though, it won't work against teams with better quality.
 

KiD MoYeS

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We didn't win that game, Atalanta lost it. They were 2-0 up away from home and in control, but half time came and their lack of quality, composure and experience showed. They wanted to see the game out and let us have the ball - no team starts games like that, which is why we never start on the front foot. They went from zero pressure/expectation at the start of the game, to favourites at half time, which gave us the initiative.

We shouldn't be in this situation. We shat the bed first half, they shat it second half. Sure we made some changes and played better, but Atalanta let it happen.
Atalanta were not in control, even at 2-0 they were giving up a lot of chances - could have easily been 2-2 at half time with better finishing.
 

TMDaines

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I second this. Atalanta played into our hands after being 2-0 up.
In addition, we scored a few goals in the 2nd half, but let's be honest, nobody ripped Atalanta apart, we didn't play dazzling football, we just scored 3 goals.
Almost as if you can say the same first half about Atalanta. They didn't play dazzling football, they just scored 2 goals.

In terms of creating volume of chances and probing the final third, United were the better team all night long. It just doesn't feel that way when you get 0-1 and 0-2 down. Sometimes the moments break your way, sometimes they don't.
 

KiD MoYeS

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What??? It was pathetically slow.
United had a lot of chances in the first half because of how quickly they moved the ball and could get behind the Atalanta defence, had the finishing been better we wouldn't be having this conversation.
 

Saddy

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I talk about the tempo all the time with my son and it's clear that the team sometimes comes out thinking they are too good against the opposition but get blown away in the first 20-30 minutes by the extra effort teams put in against us - I was also adamant Bruno had to come off at half-time but then he plays one of the best through balls for Rashford's goal and he's away again being the Bruno we love ( still looks gassed in the last 20 minutes to me )

The analysis on BT Sport showing the disconnected front-line from the midfield must be how our coaching team must fix for Sunday's match and we did in the 2nd half last night.

Also the crowd clearly plays a part and we must come flying out of the blocks against Liverpool with our left side being the absolute key to stop Salah and TAA down that side - Rashford will have a strong 60 minutes and I wonder if Ole will start with him or try to leave it until the 2nd half ?
 
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SuperiorXI

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United had a lot of chances in the first half because of how quickly they moved the ball and could get behind the Atalanta defence, had the finishing been better we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Those chances weren't the result of a high team tempo, more individual bursts of pace. Overall the first half we were very slow and vulnerable to the Atalanta press, they also passed around us like they were having a training session kick about. No chance was the tempo there.
 

youmeletsfly

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Almost as if you can say the same first half about Atalanta. They didn't play dazzling football, they just scored 2 goals.

In terms of creating volume of chances and probing the final third, United were the better team all night long. It just doesn't feel that way when you get 0-1 and 0-2 down. Sometimes the moments break your way, sometimes they don't.
Yes, for sure, I agree. I just wanted to point out we still had a shit game. We were crumbling even before Atalanta scored their first.

Enjoyable comeback, but for me the sour taste remains, we play like an average Everton and that won't change soon. :)
 

The White Pele

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I think the big difference between the halves really was chance conversion and better defending at set pieces. We had 4 big chances in the first half (2 for Rashford and 2 for Fred) but didn’t take any. They had 1 in open play and took it and also got 1 from a set piece.

In the second half we did create more but were also more clinical. Rashford took his chance, Maguire took his, Ronaldo took 1 of 3. Atlanta had their big chance saved and we defended their corners better.
 

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We didn't win that game, Atalanta lost it. They were 2-0 up away from home and in control, but half time came and their lack of quality, composure and experience showed. They wanted to see the game out and let us have the ball - no team starts games like that, which is why we never start on the front foot. They went from zero pressure/expectation at the start of the game, to favourites at half time, which gave us the initiative.

We shouldn't be in this situation. We shat the bed first half, they shat it second half. Sure we made some changes and played better, but Atalanta let it happen.
When a win is not a win.
 

diarm

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We need someone either at the back, or in a deeper midfield role who will roar at fellas for being slow on the ball, for passing it needlessly backwards or for giving it sloppily away.

It's hard for a forward to do it, and none of our centre backs seem the type. Keane and Robson were perfect because they rarely gave the ball away themselves, and they had that natural air of authority. Maguire can't be giving out to lads when he's most likely to make a mistake himself, and Bruno (no blame because he creates so much for us) gives away possession too often to be taken seriously for shouting at anyone else.

Too many of our players just float in and out of games. It's a mental weakness and a failure in management to properly motivate and punish them for it. Wan-Bissaka was awful in the first half yesterday - then just after halftime, Ole sent Dalot out to warm up and suddenly AWB was like a man possessed. Probably his best 40 minutes of the season.

Why not do that more often, or better yet - hook him a couple of times for drifting along in games. Ole needs to set a minimum standard and then start dropping lads if they don't maintain it.
 

Kurton

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Nothing to do with Tempo or crowd. Atalanta are basically Leeds from Italy, we'll win against teams like these 9/10.
 

The Hilton

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I second this. Atalanta played into our hands after being 2-0 up.
In addition, we scored a few goals in the 2nd half, but let's be honest, nobody ripped Atalanta apart, we didn't play dazzling football, we just scored 3 goals.
Atalanta did play into our hands, but a lot of that was tiredness - they defended very doggedly in the first half.

Also, your second sentence is very harsh, we carved them open repeatedly, it was chance after chance.

However, we were still sloppy, both at the back and going forward, and it's something we need to cut out to have any chance of success this season.
 

Kramer

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I personally think it was the atmosphere that ultimately lifted the players in the second half. Once Rashford scored the roar of the crowd just got to Atalanta. It was inevitable from there on United would get something out of the game. It even gave energy to Ronaldo who was defending and pressing in the second half. Pogba coming on also helped with passing the ball forward which McTominay failed to do most of the game.

Big shout out to Van Bissaka who probably had his best game this season in the second half.
You know Wan Bissaka gets so much stick for not passing well. And rightly so for the most part.

But he is really good at carrying the ball forward and using his pace to get past people. Our coaching staff should encourage that. He can become an attacking asset in a counter attacking set-up especially.

You can see how effective and dangerous Shaw became when he started doing it more often (though Shaw has improved his crossing and passing in the final third multi-fold since he started at United)
 

KiD MoYeS

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Those chances weren't the result of a high team tempo, more individual bursts of pace. Overall the first half we were very slow and vulnerable to the Atalanta press, they also passed around us like they were having a training session kick about. No chance was the tempo there.
I think you'll find most people watching the game were satisfied with the speed of play in the first half, up until the goal for Atalanta. United came out quickly then the defence messed up, as usual, and conceded two. This changed the game completely.
 

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I think you'll find most people watching the game were satisfied with the speed of play in the first half, up until the goal for Atalanta. United came out quickly then the defence messed up, as usual, and conceded two. This changed the game completely.
I was at Old Trafford and saw it with my own eyes, perhaps it looked different on TV. Second half it looked like we went up several gears and rattled their defence which is a given when the tempo goes up. It was sustained attack with pace which led to 3 yellow cards in a row and then the goals. In the first half it was just slow hit-and-hope passing, not much movement, heads down etc.
 

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We put them to the sword second half, over the course of the game we had guilt edged chances and should have scored at least 6

First half was disjointed but still created enough to go in leading, second half they came out like a train.

If Ole can find what is needed for those players to play like did that second half we are in business.

The intensity and energy meant Frogba looked good together as well.
 

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United had a lot of chances in the first half because of how quickly they moved the ball and could get behind the Atalanta defence, had the finishing been better we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Bang on. Yet again people looking at outcome rather what actually happened. We should never have gone in behind let alone 2-0 behind.
 

Regalia

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Adrenaline is hell of a drug. Oh, and our world-class players deciding to start playing for their CL lives in the 2nd half helped too. Ronaldo is not getting knocked out of the Champions League that easily, boys. I wouldn't read a whole lot more into that. We were mediocre as usual in the 1st half.