A new era is underway at Manchester United – and it’s underway with a win.
Ralf Rangnick was in the dugout for the first time as he led his United side against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday.
It wasn’t the most convincing 1-0 win you’re ever likely to see but the difference in their performance was noticeable despite Rangnick having just one training session with the players.
United lined up in a 4-2-2-2 formation and they pressed from the front like we didn’t see under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Rangnick is renowned for having one of the greatest footballing brains in the world and asks his players to press high up the pitch to win the ball back.
While United fans may well have noticed their new tactics during the match, the new manager broke down the way he wants his side to play in his post-match interview.
VIDEO: Rangnick breaks down his 4-2-2-2 formation
Take a look at the interview below:
“For me, the question was how do we get pressure on the ball, how do we get control? So I decided to play 4-2-2-2 with two strikers, not Cristiano alone up front, together with Marcus [Rashford], using pace for vertical balls,” he explained via utdreport.
“At the same time, with Jadon [Sancho] and Bruno on the two 10 positions, for the rest [of the players] it was the same.
“We had enough space with Bruno and Jadon in those 10 positions for our full-backs to play forward and ask for the ball on the wing.
“They [Bruno and 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.”
Rangnick added: “The most challenging, demanding positions in that formation [4-2-2-2] are the two 10s but I still think, especially when Palace was in possession, Bruno and Jadon did well.
“It was a little bit new but not that new, it doesn’t make that much difference if Jadon plays a little further inside or outside but defensively, they both did well.”
There’s certainly a lot of work to be done for Manchester United to compete with the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City but there are immediate signs of improvement already.