Nicky Butt’s Under 21 side showed the Manchester United senior team how to play attacking football with a beautiful flowing move in their 4-0 UEFA Youth League win over Valencia on Tuesday afternoon.
Jose Mourinho’s team have become the laughing stock of the football world amid a series of terrible results and even worse performances – most notably against West Ham United over the weekend.
The youngsters, however, have been getting off just fine, strolling to a win over Valencia through goals from Joshui Bohui, Mason Greenwood, Millen Baars and Tahith Chong.
And it was Chong’s goal, which capped off a lightning quick move through the middle, which grabbed the attention of supporters. Take a look:
Granted, Valencia’s positioning here is awful, but there are nonetheless lessons Mourinho could take from this move in particular.
Butt has not done anything here aside from merely emphasising the importance of movement off the ball. Aidan Barlow feeds the ball out wide and, crucially, turns quickly inside and bursts forward, giving his teammate an obvious avenue to pass up the pitch into space. Now Barlow has, to use a technical term, ‘broken the lines’ with momentum behind him and Chong one of several options further up the pitch making runs, eventually breaking the second line and going clean through on the keeper. In other words: attacking.
Amazingly, despite all the on-paper grandeur of the senior United side, this has not been coached into the team by Mourinho. This goal, if anything, highlights just how far below their potential United are playing under the current system.