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Ralf Rangnick makes five tactical tweaks to Man Utd team against Palace including new formation and inverted wingers


RALF RANGNICK has showcased SIX tactical tweaks during his first game in charge of Manchester United – including a new formation.

The German, 63, fielded an unchanged side from the win over Arsenal in midweek as he began life in the Premier League with a home match against Crystal Palace.

Man Utd clearly set up in a 4-2-2-2 formation
Here is how Rangnick set up his first Man Utd XI
Sancho and Fernandes played as inverted wingers behind Rashford and Ronaldo

And Rangnick’s style was evident immediately through how his Man Utd team approached the game.

While many felt from the team sheet that he would line up in a 4-2-3-1, it ended up as more of a 4-2-2-2.

Scott McTominay and goalscorer Fred were tasked with shielding the back four, offering them the protection required to secure a rare clean sheet.

Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes were then positioned in front of them as inverted wingers – something Rangnick is known for.

And Marcus Rashford joined Cristiano Ronaldo up front as the Red Devils went for a potent strike partnership.

As well as the change of formation and inverted wingers, United were also clearly pressing high up the pitch, hunting the ball down in packs.

They were clearly pressing higher up the pitch in a bid to win the ball back near the Palace goal
The attacking United players were chasing down every Palace player

This is a stark contrast to how they played for the majority of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure as they opted for a more counter-attacking approach under the Norwegian.

They are also clearly trying to play the ball forward more often – something which is in line with Rangnick’s style as he famously dislikes sideways and backwards passes.

Another adjustment is the number of shots and touches in the opposition box which have both increased significantly.

In the first half alone United had 26 touches in the Crystal Palace box and 12 shots as they bombarded the visitors’ goal without finding a breakthrough.

And the final shift from Rangnick was an increase in the use of crosses as a means of attack.

Left-back Alex Telles was instrumental in this as he looked to swiftly send the ball into the box for Rashford and Ronaldo.

When discussing his team’s problems ahead of the match, he said: “Against Arsenal we conceded two goals, we needed three to win the game.

“If you look at the total number of goals conceded, it averages almost two per game. This is just too much.

“My approach is to help the team to get more balance, more control of the game.


“The Arsenal match was exciting for the fans but, even for myself as the future coach, those are not the kind of games that we need every day.

“Football, for me, is to minimise the coincidence factor and have control in order to gain control of a game.

“This is football, what it’s about. This is my approach and I’m out to help these outstanding, talented players try to keep away from their own goal.”

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