Leicester’s Claudio Ranieri has long been known as ‘The Tinkerman’, but it was Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho who made the change that altered the game as the two sides met on Sunday, shifting Henrikh Mkhitaryan into the No.10 role, which yielded a quick-fire two goals before half-time and effectively won the match for the Red Devils.
Speaking (via The Guardian) after the full-time whistle, the Portuguese boss acknowledged the alteration made an impact:
“Yes, we improved [after the tactical change] but then, it’s his goal that changes the story of the game.”
‘Mou’ stopped short of lavishing too much praise on his Armenian playmaker, yet the stats from his performance against the Foxes make it hard not to laud him…
The ex-Dortmund ace, arguably Man of the Match, was heavily involved in much of Man United’s play with 76 touches of the ball and 60 passes, but it’s his five key passes (one of which was an assist) that really stood out. On top of that, he netted a goal, showing that he can contribute when Mourinho’s men need him the most – prior to his central move the game was relatively close.
Making Mkhitaryan the No.10 on a regular basis may mean Paul Pogba needs to drop deeper, but it’s a nice headache for the Man United boss to have.