Man Utd's Ralf Rangnick gives honest interview on tactical problems in Young Boys draw

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Manchester United limped over the line and into the Champions League knockout rounds with a draw against Young Boys on Wednesday.

While the Red Devils certainly deserved to top Group F with a four-point lead over Villarreal, there’s no denying that their journey through Europe’s premier competition has been a rocky one.

Having lost to Young Boys on the opening day, the Premier League side needed dramatic late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo both home and away against Villarreal and Atalanta to survive.

Man Utd 1-1 Young boys

However, the Old Trafford club could at least put their feet up by the time that Young Boys came to town this week with a 1-1 draw proving more than enough for the hosts to reach the round of 16.

And that made it an invaluable opportunity for Ralf Rangnick to play some of United‘s fringe players as he gets to grips with the squad that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Michael Carrick left behind.

Every starter from the weekend’s win over Crystal Palace was jettisoned with the likes of Donny van de Beek, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga all gaining valuable minutes.

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Rangnick oversees Man Utd’s draw

But in the end, there wasn’t much for United to write home about with Fabian Rieder’s stunning strike before the break cancelling out Mason Greenwood’s acrobatic opening goal.

All in all, it provided Rangnick with plenty of food for thought regarding his personnel as United return to Premier League action against Norwich City at the weekend.

And the ever-eloquent Rangnick didn’t shy away from giving his true feelings in front of the BT Sport cameras after the game, openly offering his thoughts on where United went wrong.

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Rangnick gives tactical insight

In fact, the former RB Leipzig coach even went into tantalising depth about how United are adapting to his tactics, breaking down exactly where the Red Devils went wrong with their anti-press strategy.

With refreshing honesty, Rangnick mused: “What was really a little bit annoying was the way that we also gave the goal away, because we played too many balls into the first line of their pressing area.

“And this was also the case with the goal that we conceded. We could have cleared the ball easily and whenever we played the ball into the second or third line, we were always dangerous.

“I told them that before the game but they still played in that situation the ball a five-metre pass and [Young Boys] were just waiting for that ball. It was more or less a pressing invitation that we sent.”

Work for Rangnick to do

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so United fans will still have to wait some time before Rangnick can really drill his style of football into the club no matter how much of a tactic genius he is.

But that doesn’t make Rangnick’s point any less interesting because the simple fact of the matter is that United did play far too many passive, backwards or sideways passes under Solskjaer. 

If United want to play Rangnick’s ‘heavy metal football’, then they’ve got to amp things up.

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