Manchester United Shows How Bad Jose Mourinho Was With 5-1 Rout Of Cardiff
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Think Manchester United is enjoying life without Jose Mourinho?
In the club’s first match since firing the embattled, bitter coach, the Red Devils crushed Cardiff City 5-1, the first time since Alex Ferguson’s final match in 2013 that United scored five goals in a Premier League match.
Despite winning a Europa League title and finishing a distant second to Manchester City last season, Mourinho’s time at Manchester United was little short of embarrassing. The Portuguese manager forced the Red Devils to play boring, uninspiring football, often relying on long balls into the box. It was a far cry from the magnificent teams of Ferguson.
Mourinho quarreled with the media, opposing coaches and his best player and couldn’t get anything out of the players he spent $500 million on in the transfer market. He completely and utterly failed to do anything noteworthy for one of Europe’s most historic clubs.
The United brass finally saw the light and let the dead weight go, bringing in former player Ole Gunnar Solskjær as caretaker manager. His first task in charge was to go up against the only Premier League club Solskjær has coached, Cardiff City, with which he won three times in 18 games.
Of course, his players at Manchester United are far superior to those at Cardiff City. And the Red Devils responded with Mourinho’s shackles taken off.
While Mourinho wanted his players to play negative football most of the time, there was no five-man defense in Solskjær’s first match in charge. Paul Pogba started in the midfield and Marouane Fellaini didn’t come in to play as a second striker but as a defensive midfielder.
Solskjær, a former forward himself, wants his players to take chances and shoot whenever possible, as seen in this video from his time at Molde in Norway, his previous coaching gig.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in training with Molde."Any fucking chance, anyone want to shoot? You're 18-yards away from goal and you keep fucking passing it. Shoot! You won't ever score a goal if you don't shoot. Finish!" Should be music to United fans’ ears! pic.twitter.com/06XXSyci70
— The Away Fans (@theawayfans) December 19, 2018
In his short time since being appointed, Solskjær appears to have been successful in passing that bit of information along to his players based on the Man U vs Cardiff highlights.
Marcus Rashford got the scoring started in the third minute with this wicked long-range blast from a free kick.
Next it was Ander Herrera’s turn to take a crack from long range. While the shot took a mean deflection, you can’t score if you don’t shoot.
The day wasn’t perfect for United as Cardiff City scored on a penalty kick by Victor Camarasa. Despite what was said on NBCSN, the shoulder is technically part of the arm and thus the referees made the correct decision to award a penalty kick for Rashford’s hand ball.
Not that the goal put too much of a damper on United’s day, as Anthony Martial finished off this nice move to restore the two-goal advantage before halftime.
In the second half, Jesse Lingard drew and converted a penalty kick to make it 4-1 before an hour was up.
United came close to adding to its lead countless times in the final 30 minutes and finally added the fifth in the 90th minute, Lingard again doing the honors. The assist from Pogba was exquisite.
In his days with United as a player, Solskjær was known as a super sub, someone who could come off the bench to score when needed. Solskjær will hope he’s more than a super sub for the Red Devils this season, and not just replaced by someone like Zinedine Zidane after the end of the campaign.
He’s off to a pretty good start proving he’s the right man for the job.