How Brighton boss De Zerbi made very simple tweak to outwit Ten Hag before dominating Red Devils in 3-1 win

BRIGHTON boss Roberto De Zerbi made one simple tweak to his tactics against Manchester United.

And it worked a treat as he outwitted Erik ten Hag to win 3-1 at Old Trafford.

The TimesRoberto De Zerbi made a tactical tweak to outwit Man Utd in Brighton’s 3-1 win[/caption]

The AthleticThe Seagulls struggled early on with United’s midfield diamond pressing intensely[/caption]

The Seagulls notched up another impressive win over the Red Devils yesterday, putting in a dominant performance away from home.

Goals from Danny Welbeck, Pascal Gross and Joao Pedro fired Brighton up the table to fourth.

But the visitors first had to negotiate a tricky opening 15 minutes after being caught out by United’s tactical switch.

Ten Hag opted to leave Alejandro Garnacho and Facundo Pellistri on the bench, instead opting for an extra body in midfield.

The presence of Scott McTominay allowed United to shift to a diamond, with Marcus Rashford moving central alongside Rasmus Hojlund.

The two strikers were able to effectively press Brighton’s two centre-backs.

And the runners from midfield also able to squeeze the Seagulls’ full-backs, nullifying their attempts to play out from the back.

But as revealed in The Athletic, Brighton boss De Zerbi soon cottoned on to the issue.


The AthleticDe Zerbi ended up splitting his centre-backs to dominate the ball and build attacks[/caption]

And instead of making wholesale changes, he adjusted one thing in his backline.

De Zerbi instructed his full-backs to push higher up the field, while midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud dropped into a half-back role.

The two centre-backs, Lewis Dunk and Jan Paul van Hecke, were then deployed in extremely wide positions — almost making them full-backs too.

The extra space on the pitch threw United’s press into disarray, forcing the forwards to split as the midfielders were kept occupied by Brighton’s overloaded flanks.

The Seagulls were able to put their plan into full motion thanks to their confident and accurate passing, with goalie Jason Steele initiating most moves.

United failed to adjust their own tactics and counter Brighton’s tweak.

And the rest is history as De Zerbi’s men stormed their way to a fourth straight victory over the Red Devils.

Reflecting on the result, the Italian said: “We played a great, great game. We deserved to win, we played well.

“In the first 15, 20 minutes we suffered a lot because United played in a different way than we prepared for but after that we played a great game.

“I think the game was changed when we kept the ball. In that moment their pressure was strong and to keep the ball helped us to control the game and then we have four attackers who are very fast and very good.”

Ten Hag added: “We are disappointed. That’s normal, especially when you have seen the game of such small margins.

“First-half they were on our side, we created a lot of chances but didn’t score.

“We then concede a goal and had a disallowed goal and you’re sat in a dressing room thinking how is this possible.”

MAN UTD NEWS LIVE: Stay up to date with all the latest takeover and transfer news from Old Trafford

back link building services=