Former Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho feels Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his tactical approach wrong during Manchester United’s Champions League exit in Barcelona.
Mourinho believes Lionel Messi was given far too much space by United when they slumped to a 3-0 defeat at the Nou Camp on Tuesday to exit the competition 4-0 on aggregate.
Messi scored two first-half goals to extinguish any hopes United had of overturning the 1-0 defeat they suffered at Old Trafford, with Philippe Coutinho rounding off the scoring in the second period.
United were losing for the fifth time in seven games under Solskjaer, whose impact on replacing Mourinho in November was enough for him to secure a three-year permanent deal as manager last month.
Speaking to Russia Today, Mourinho said: “Messi’s position is easy to understand but it is not easy to create a cage to control him.
“He comes from the right, then stays in the middle, then Ivan Rakitic goes right and allows him to stay in the middle. It’s very difficult.
“Manchester United in the first match, zonally they occupied that area very well – but I think in this match that they started with a different perspective.
“In front of the defensive line was only Fred. That’s the area that Messi comes to get the ball and when Messi has the ball… one, one, one…you are dead.
“That’s why I never liked individual man-on-man against Messi. Messi’s a cage, you have to create a cage.
“But Barcelona is Barcelona, they have better players than Manchester United and I think it’s normal they won.”
Source: Sky Sports