Harry Maguire wearing the captain's armband.

How Maguire is getting United moving

Harry Maguire is vital in launching attacks from the back for Manchester United, and that was never more evident than in the 1-0 victory over FC Copenhagen.

The extra-time success has set up Sunday's last-four date with Sevilla, when the skipper will again be expected to instigate forward moves from his role at the heart of the defence.

By sweeping accurate, long passes to either flank, the England international has shown precisely how key he is to the way the Reds play under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, particularly when opponents sit back.

A masterclass in passing from MaguireVideo

Even if Sevilla are likely to have far more possession than Copenhagen, Maguire will be looking to pick out the attacking players by using his wide range of passing.

In the win over the Danes, the progressive distance of his passes were far higher than in any other match during this extended season. This might be expected considering the fact that an extra 30 minutes were played but the final figure (770 yards) smashed his previous best of 581 yards in the 3-0 victory at Brighton in June.

In terms of completed long passes, he has only made more in the red shirt in the defeat at Newcastle United last October.

Formerly a midfielder in his youth, last summer's buy from Leicester City told Inside United last year about his early days in the game.

“I played centre-mid really until I was about 15, so I grew up in that position,” he said. “When I was 15 or 16, scholarship age, I played a few games at centre-back and some in midfield. After that, I really cemented my place at centre-back when I shot up and grew. When I was about 15 or 16, I always used to be average-to-tall not really tall, but I shot up and ended up finding myself at centre-back and felt really comfortable playing in defence and just progressed from there.”

The story of Maguire's first year at UnitedVideo

HARRY'S PROGRESSIVE PASSING 

1. FC Copenhagen (N) 10.8.20 - 770 yards
2. Brighton (A) 30.6.20 - 581 yards
3. Newcastle (H) 26.12.19 - 523 yards
4. Newcastle (A) 6.10.19 - 493 yards
5. Wolves (A) 19.8.19 - 445 yards

Stats from FBREF.com.

Get behind the team as the Reds go marching on! Our new adidas home kit for 2020/21 is on sale now.

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