during the Emirates FA Cup fifth round match between Shrewsbury Town and Manchester United at Greenhous Meadow on February 22, 2016 in Shrewsbury, England.

Video: Chris Smalling gives Manchester United the lead

The first 35 or so minutes of Manchester United’s 5th round FA Cup tie against Shrewbury Town was looking like any other typical Manchester United match. United possessed the ball and possessed the ball some more. Eventually they would stop possessing the ball long enough to send a 25 yard shot 30 yards wide or over the goal. On even rarer occasion’s they would even try to pass the ball through Shrewsbury’s back line to let players like Anthony Martial or Memphis Depay threaten the Shrewsbury goal but they still couldn’t find a break through.

Given the way Shrewsbury set their team up for this match, this strategy made no sense.

The way Shrewsbury was set up, it made far more sense for United to play with two strikers and put Shrewsbury under pressure. Defender Chris Smalling must have realized that as well and after getting forward on a set piece, the defender stayed forward following the clearance to serve as a second striker for a bit and was rewarded instantly.



About Pauly Kwestel

Pauly is a Producer for WFAN in New York and the CBS Sports Radio Network. He has been writing about the beautiful game since 2010 and can be followed on twitter @pkwestelWFAN