Man Utd heatmap from first half of City clash reveals Ten Hag’s tactical tweak with fans convinced he copied ex-manager

EAGLE-eyed Man Utd fans spotted a bamboozling tactical tweak Erik ten Hag used for the Manchester derby in the first half.

The Red Devils sat deep against fierce rivals Man City in their clash at the Etihad.

Fans spotted Bruno Fernandes playing as a false nine

Marcus Rashford pulled to the left for the clash with Fernandes playing through the middle

With several injuries to personnel, ten Hag may have felt this was the best idea and to utilise the pace he has in forward positions.

Before the game, it was expected that Marcus Rashford would play as the lone forward.

It was an enforced switch, after they were hit with an injury to in-form striker Rasmus Hojlund.

But, as the game started a decoy was used instead.

It was Bruno Fernandes who appeared to be playing as the false nine, with Rashford pulling out wide.

And the pair combined brilliantly for United’s opener.

With Fernandes up top, Andre Onana launched a long ball upfield.

After latching onto the pass, his lay off fell to Rashford who smashed home from 30-yards.

It was a move unlike anything Erik ten Hag has done before, and was confirmed furthermore by the team’s heatmap.

Online, fans immediately compared his switch of tactics to a former manager who utilised the Portugal midfielder in a similar role.

Of course, that was ex-boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – and fans took to X to discuss it.

One fan wrote: “Ten hag following the Ole playbook for his tactics in this game.”

A second posted: “Can’t believe that Bruno False 9 is working Hergh!! Ten Hag be allo ooo.”

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While a third added: “Ten hag really called up Ole for tips.”

Despite the ten Hag masterstroke, City drew level in the second half after Phil Foden’s spectacular long-distance strike.

Foden then added a second after a sweeping City move on the left cut United’s defence to ribbons.

Erling Haaland added gloss to proceedings after United were caught trying to play the ball out of the back.

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