Bruno Lage lifts the lid on tactical masterclass behind Wolves' brilliant win at Man United

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Bruno Lage lifts the lid on his tactical masterclass behind Wolves’ brilliant win at Man United as Portuguese explains how utilising ‘spaces’ on the flanks helped his side to victory at Old Trafford

  • Bruno Lage has lifted the lid on his tactical masterclass against Man United 
  • Wolves outplayed the Red Devils to seal a famous 1-0 victory at Old Trafford 
  • Lage explained that utilising ‘spaces’ on United’s flanks helped his visitors
  • Nelson Semedo and Fernando Marcal had much joy against United’s fullbacks 


Bruno Lage executed a masterclass to help Wolves defeat Manchester United on Monday night, and the Portuguese has impressed fans with his tactical deconstruction of the Red Devils’ style of play.

The visitors earned their first victory at Old Trafford in 42 years after Joao Moutinho’s late strike handed Lage’s side a deserved victory, with Wolves outclassing United for large spells of the game. 

Lage joined Wolves last summer, replacing Nuno Espirito Santo, and has taken Wolves to eighth place, with supporters now dreaming of a return to European football next season.

Bruno Lage has lifted the lid on his tactical masterclass to defeat Manchester United

Bruno Lage has lifted the lid on his tactical masterclass to defeat Manchester United

Wolves outplayed the Red Devils to secure their first Old Trafford victory in 42 years

Wolves outplayed the Red Devils to secure their first Old Trafford victory in 42 years

Wolves’ first half display showed that the Molineux men can certainly mix it with their bigger rivals, with Nelson Semedo and Fernando Marcal causing United all sorts of problems on the flanks.

And during his post-match interview with Sky Sports Lage revealed why the wingbacks were so effective against Ralf Rangnick’s side.

‘The most important thing for us is to see where the full-backs are, which positions they start.’

When pressed on the significance of United’s fullbacks, Lage explained: ‘To find the spaces. When they are defending and when they are attacking – where the [spaces] are.

Portuguese coach Lage explained that exposing United on the flanks helped his side

Portuguese coach Lage explained that exposing United on the flanks helped his side

‘In the first half, when they are defending, [Edinson] Cavani tried to control Ruben [Neves], Cristiano Ronaldo tried to control [Conor] Coady and the wingers were inside. So the space is outside. That’s why [Nelson] Semedo and [Fernando] Marcal had a lot of chances in the first half and the boys found the spaces.

‘That’s why it’s so important to understand where the space is when you have the ball.

‘And when you have defending, [Daniel] Podence and [Francisco] Trincao understand that if the full-backs are in front of them or, if they go, it’s not your man and you control the space inside.

Nelson Semedo (above) and Fernando Marcal utilised 'spaces' afforded to them by United

Nelson Semedo (above) and Fernando Marcal utilised ‘spaces’ afforded to them by United

‘That’s why it’s so important. The players understood the plan and I think we deserved the three points.’ 

Lage’s tactical acumen has won praise among supporters on social media, with the former Benfica boss continuing to impress at Wolves, while his analysis has further exposed the flaws of Rangnick’s 4-2-2-2 system. 

United supporters were unimpressed with the attacking contributions of Aaron Wan-Bissake in particular, with the Englishman unable to provide quality service for Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. 

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