‘It’s the formation that’s been bad, 4-2-4… you are going to get absolutely DESTROYED with that’: Paul Scholes critical of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactics after Manchester United’s woeful first-half against Atalanta

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  • Manchester United scored two goals in the first half against Atlanta
  • Fred and Scott McTominay played as two midfielders in a 4-2-4 formation.
  • Paul Scholes says the system leaves United to be ‘absolutely destroyed’

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Paul Scholes has targeted the two-man midfield in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s formation, claiming it leaves Manchester United susceptible to being ‘absolutely destroyed’ after their first half against Atalanta.

United found themselves two goals down in the half-time of their Crunch Champions League Group F fixture at Old Trafford, with Fred and Scott McTominay being the only players named in midfield.

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Mario Pasalic opened the scoring for the Serie A Giants with a close-range finish before Merih Demiral took advantage of some sluggish set-pieces to drive home a corner.

Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
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Paul Scholes targets two-man midfield in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s formation

United midfielder Scott McTominay

United midfielder Fred

Fred (right) and Scott McTominay (left) were the only players named in United midfield

But speaking to BT Sport at half-time, former United midfielder Scholes termed the set-up deployed by the Norwegian as ‘poor’, leaving the two players in the center incredibly likely to overrun.

‘It’s the formation that’s been bad,’ Scholes said.

‘Ole said before the game it was 4-2-4. I don’t care who those two players are in midfield, when you’re playing against a good European team, you’ll be completely destroyed.

‘No wide players running back, Bruno Fernandes making strange attempts to come back and help them, but they will be destroyed.

‘If Manchester United were playing a really good team, we could have looked at four or five. ‘

This gave Atalanta a two-goal lead in the first half, with Merih Demiral scoring the second.

This gave Atalanta a two-goal lead in the first half, with Merih Demiral scoring the second.

Scholes’ former United and England teammate Rio Ferdinand also added to his dismay, claiming the defenders had not done well.

Ferdinand said, ‘I am very disappointed and disappointed, but the players have to come out and do something.

‘Ole beat them 4-4-2 to go on to win, but the defenders weren’t enough.’

United did exactly that in the second half, though Marcus Rashford cut the deficit with a fine finish.

Rio Ferdinand also expressed disappointment at United's first half performance at Old Trafford

Rio Ferdinand also expressed disappointment at United’s first half performance at Old Trafford

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