With their second unexpected defeat in a row and being knocked out of the FA Cup quarter-finals, Manchester United‘s comeback has begun creeping towards being a setback. The fatigued United side, after doing a fantastic job over the past three months, have begun to be exploited not only by their big-five rivals but also by the underdogs.
This tactical analysis explains what the weak segments were in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s game plan against Wolves, and how Nuno Espirito Santo’s men drew on the tactical shortcomings in Manchester United‘s tactical formation to crush their illustrious opponents.

Lineups

Manchester United started with their usual 4-3-1-2 formation, but their formation often switched to a loose 4-2-4 shape. Meanwhile, Wolves began with a more conservative 3-5-2 formation. As the home team were dominated in possession, their overall formation throughout the match became a defensive 5-3-2.
Wolves Manchester United FA Cup Tactical Analysis

Manchester United’s inefficient passing play

Manchester United played a narrow game when in possession, as shown in the image below. They restricted their passing play, especially in the final third, to central lanes throughout the game. However, Wolves’ deep block defence and intense press in the defensive third posed problems for United’s centrally-oriented attacking play.
Wolves Manchester United FA Cup Tactical Analysis
United concentrating centrally with the ball, making them vulnerable to be hit via the flanks in transitions.
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