This time the chalkboards do tell the tale.
Fulham played a 4-2-4 defense and engaged Manchester United’s “back-six” with their “front-six.” It was a good strategy despite the ending scoreline of 5-0. Sir Alex Ferguson recognized it as such, pulling off a woozy Phil Jones (from an early Clint Dempsey elbow) and adding in another attacker in Ashley Young to provide central linking while moving Antonio Valencia to rightback.
(Once Fulham fell behind early on some uncharacteristically shoddy backline defending, they had to press….then…it was curtains.)
Manchester United played with double pivots of Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick. While Giggs was given license to go forward, this time the passing arrays tell the story. Who is going to unlock defenses once Giggs is gone?
Mr. Carrick’s rather neutral passing chart…
Mr. Giggs’s …unlocking
Supporting material: On Michael Carrick