“That’s why I played 4-2-2-2” - Ralf Rangnick lauds 4 Manchester United stars for their role in Crystal Palace victory

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace - Premier League
Manchester United vs Crystal Palace - Premier League
Rishabh Bhatnagar

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick was all praise for four players after his first game in charge - a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

United started in a hurry, with Rangnick’s high-pressing system in full flight in the first 20 minutes of the game. The first half saw United carve out a plethora of chances. However, a lack of a final pass and poor finishing meant United went into half-time with the game still goalless.

With Rangnick employing the same lineup that started the 3-2 win against Arsenal, a few players began to tire around the hour mark. Nevertheless, the manager was full of praise for four players, in particular.

He lauded Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho for their defensive work. Rangnick was also impressed with the offensive output of the two full-backs, Alex Telles and Diogo Dalot.

👔 Ralf Rangnick was certainly satisfied with our level of control in today's win!#MUFC | #MUNCRY

He said in this regard:

"They (Bruno & Sancho) almost played like wing-backs. Especially in the first-half, Alex (Telles) and Diogo (Dalot), did extremely well offensively, and that's why I played 4-2-2-2. I'm a big fan of every player plays in his best possible position."

Ralf Rangnick oversees a rare clean sheet in his first game in charge at Manchester United

Manchester United know there is a lot of work required in the next few weeks and months. The team looked like a different outfit than they have all season, coming out with all guns blazing in the first half. One of the commentators even claimed that United were guilty of overusing the high press.

The result was that several players looked tired in the first 15 minutes of the second half. That, though, did not include Fred, the 36-year old Cristiano Ronaldo, or the two full-backs. The Old Trafford faithful knows the attacking unit will improve as they get used to playing in a new system.

Manchester United fans when they see their team pressing, dominating possession, and 1-0 up:

However, the team showed enough signs of already starting down the right path. The fact that Fred scored a superb goal comes second only to the fact that the team registered a rare clean sheet - their first at home this season across all competitions.

Even in games where they have not conceded this season, United’s defence has looked shaky for large swathes. It was either because of the other team’s mistakes or sheer luck that United did not concede. That was something that was on full display in the 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

However, against Crystal Palace, Manchester United deserved a clean sheet. They dominated the ball for large parts of the game, rarely allowing Crystal Palace sustained spells on the ball until late in the second half. Even during the final ten minutes, Manchester United defended well, and had more than enough answers for everything that was thrown at them.

Edited by Bhargav
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