As per Wikipedia, “A root cause is an initiating cause of a causal chain which leads to an outcome or effect of interest.”
If observed carefully, the result of every football game is primarily owing to a root cause- perhaps a “root tactic” by one of the managers.
For example, a team might decide to press very high up the pitch. Now, they might force their opponents to surrender ball in dangerous areas. Subsequently, if the team counter-attacks with excellence after winning possession in those danger areas and triumphs the opposition in terms of goals at the end of ninety minutes, “high pressing” can be defined as the “root cause” for the victory.
Other tactics like the proficiency of their counter-attacks will be an entirely different story, but the counter-attacks came into the picture only because of the high pressing.
Manchester United versus Newcastle United
Many match reports of Manchester United’s home loss against Newcastle United last week suggested that the Red Devils lacked creativity in the middle of the park. Attackers were isolated, passing was slow and there was no one to dictate the tempo of the play.
Conclusion: Newcastle Goal
Jonny Evans tries to build up from the back. He can’t pass it to Jones or Cleverley so the 25-year-old comes out of the defensive third and then plays as pass out wide to Rafael Da Silva. The Brazil international gives away the ball and the subsequent Newcastle attack ends with a goal-kick.
De Gea kicks the ball towards Hernandez but, he feeds it to Tim Krul, who instigates the attack eventually leading to Cabaye’s goal.
Root cause of the goal- Newcastle’s attackers and midfielders closing gap for United’s midfielders to receive the ball.