Michael Carrick’s half-time team talk inspired Manchester United to victory, according to Harry Maguire.


Michael Carrick’s half-time team talk inspired Manchester United to victory, according to Harry Maguire.

Manchester United beat Villarreal 2-0 on Tuesday night, with Harry Maguire revealing Michael Carrick’s crucial half-time team talk.

Michael Carrick’s half-time team talk inspired a 2-0 Manchester United win against Villarreal in the Champions League group stage, according to Harry Maguire.

United’s first away win in the competition came in the 78th minute, when Cristiano Ronaldo’s lob and Jadon Sancho’s first goal for the club put the game beyond Unai Emery’s side.

The Red Devils had to fight hard for their crucial win, with the players under immense pressure for the first 45 minutes of Carrick’s tenure, when they were stranded in their own half.

And now, according to captain Maguire, it was Carrick’s tactical shift that led to the goals, with the United manager instructing his players to defend higher up the pitch rather than inviting pressure.

“As a Man United team, we want to be aggressive and play at a high tempo,” Maguire told BT Sport.

“We played with a little too much edginess and fear in the first half, but we were solid without putting enough pressure on those on the ball in the second half.”

“At halftime, we talked about it, and it led to the first goal.”

Following the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday, Maguire and United were under enormous pressure to win their first match without him.

The 28-year-old defender had come in for a lot of flak recently after being sent off in a 4-1 loss to Watford, but he claimed the players understood how crucial the game against Villarreal was in turning the tide.

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“It’s massive for our season,” Maguire said. “We knew going into the game that the last few months hadn’t been good enough and that we needed a result for our season and fans. We know how difficult it’s been and we need to make sure that’s a start.”

“It wasn’t pretty, especially in the first half, with two teams going for broke but knowing they couldn’t lose the game as well, so staying in the game was crucial.”

“I believe the focus was on achieving a result; we all know how difficult it is to leave home in Europe; you have to set up.”

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