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Why Aaron Wan-Bissaka started at left-back for Manchester United vs Tottenham



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Erik ten Hag has explained his reasoning why Aaron Wan-Bissaka started at left back as Manchester United drew 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur.

Sunday afternoon saw Manchester United play out a 2-2 stalemate with Tottenham Hotspur as Erik ten Hag‘s men climbed themselves back to seventh in the Premier League table for the time being.

Rasmus Højlund and Marcus Rashford both netted for United, but this was not enough to overcome goals from Richarlison and Rodrigo Bentancur, with the latter’s second-half finish splitting the tie even.

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It was confirmed ahead of kick-off that Luke Shaw was not with the squad due to the fact that he had not completely recovered from his injury, with Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka starting as full-backs.

This season, Dalot has covered the left-hand side multiple times, so many were surprised to see that it was Wan-Bissaka who was occupying the position instead, which seemed a strange tactical decision considering Dalot’s experience at left-back.

Speaking after the game, Ten Hag said: “We prepared for the match with Luke Shaw, but he had to withdraw this morning.”

This explains why Dalot was kept as the right-back for the tie. If United had prepared for the game with Shaw at left-back, Dalot would have spent the last week learning his instructions in the right-hand position, with Wan-Bissaka set to be benched.

However, Shaw’s failing to pass a late fitness test meant that the left-back spot was vacant, and as it would have been ineffective for Wan-Bissaka to learn all of Dalot’s instructions on the day of the game, he instead slotted into the vacant left-back position.