Manchester United’s vulnerability at corners is now a long-standing issue and one that must be resolved if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is to claim silverware this season.
The Reds relinquished their narrow advantage in the Europa League round-of-16 tie against Italian giants AC Milan in familiar circumstances as Simon Kjaer netted a near-post header.
Amad looked to have been taking all the headlines for his first United goal that should have proved to be the winner.
The Ivorian teenager made a delightful run to meet Bruno Fernandes’ exquisite pass and showed great awareness to back-header past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
United’s work was then undone late on when Dean Henderson failed to keep Kjaer’s header out from six yards and many will attribute the blame on the England goalkeeper.
Henderson was otherwise flawless but should undoubtedly have saved the shot and the glaring error may live in the memory of Solskjaer when deciding upon his next number one.
But Henderson’s aberration was not the sole flaw as United once again let a near-post runner get the crucial flick-on towards goal.
Cam Meighan, who works as a set-piece consultant in the Women’s Super League, has posted an important thread breaking down each problem with United’s zonal marking system.
United’s poor structure before the corner ultimately led to their downfall as defenders were far too deep and compact at the near post.
Kjaer easily gets the run on Nemanja Matic and makes the predictable run across the face of goal. Matic is then stuck in the traffic as he loses his man and the Danish defender is allowed a free run to net the vital away goal.
See Cam Meighan’s fascinating thread below to have a better understanding of the goal being conceded.
Man United's corner goal conceded against AC Milan, highlighting the subtle differences starting positions make in zonal setups.
Man United too deep and compact around the near post vs inswinger and man-marking is poor to allow a free run. pic.twitter.com/ZvBOzPfHJW
— Cam Meighan (@cam_meighan) March 11, 2021