Manchester United ought to consider themselves lucky to secure a 2-0 win over Leeds United.
The home side were quite aggressive throughout the fixture and the Red Devils looked a shade of their erstwhile recent form. As such, there was a strong push for Erik ten Hag to change things and he did so with a masterstroke.
As has been the trend in the last few games, Marcus Rashford was shifted from the flank onto the centre-forward spot during the final minutes of the game. This usually meant that Weghorst would be off the pitch.
But in this fixture, the fresh signing was instead shifted to the no.10 position and that made all the difference. In the 80th minute, Rashford was in the best possible position to score the header while Alejandro Garnacho cemented the winner when Weghorst found him with a neat pass.
Likewise, Luke Shaw was moved from centre-back to fullback and he too earned an assist. The decision started with the Weghorst switch to no.10 and then spiralled into an easy solution to some of the side’s positional inadequacies.
Fans took notice of this quick tactic from the Dutch boss and heaped much praise on him on Twitter.
Weghorst is a limited goalscorer and creator, but his decent-ish ability to collect the ball with his back to play has helped United today. Ten Hag moving him to the 10 was an unorthodox workaround to #MUFC's issues in build up.
— Carl Anka (@Ankaman616) February 12, 2023
Weghorst at #10 pic.twitter.com/Vl1RaOBOqi
— Jordan (@FourFourJordan) February 12, 2023
Ten Hag's decision to keep Weghorst on was a stroke of brilliance.
In that makeshift number 10 role, there's a player with the strength to hold up the ball efficiently, leaving room for Rashford to make those devastating runs behind the line.
— Oliver (@Oliveresuana) February 12, 2023
Incidentally, this move has once more ignited the conversation as to whether or not Rashford ought to be deployed in this role more often. As of recent, the prolific Englishman has seen a lot of goals going into the back of the net only after being shifted to this role.
Doing so would also aid ten Hag in making sense of a squad which is clearly shy on strikers.
However, with the Barcelona clash in the Europa League looming near, the gaffer will certainly be happy with momentarily clinching second place on the Premier League table and will be hoping for more master classes from the likes of Rashford.