Improved United edge Palace at Old Trafford in Rangnick’s first match

  1. Ralf Rangnick’s first match at the helm at Manchester United has proved to be a box full of positives. Three points, clean sheet, no injuries and most importantly, a much improved performance from our players especially as a team.  United faced a Palace team which have been a mini revelation under the guidance of Vieira this season, despite slacking in the last two matches.  United however went on the front foot from the first whistle and some of the combination play the men in red played in the first half an hour were refreshing and kept Palace under constant pressure.  Rangnick called for his players to control matches and I’m sure he was happy in the first part of the match, with the United players pressing high up the pitch with intensity and managing to win back the ball regularly when not in possession.  Maybe, if there was one area where we lacked in the first half, it was that we did not manage to find the net from one of the numerous half-chances the team procured. As the match progressed, Palace improved and midway through the second half, Ayew had a good chance to forge them ahead but missed the goal from a narrow angle.  United continued to create chances with their combination play and soon after, Greenwood laid the ball to Fred just inside the box, with the latter hitting it first time across Guaita and in the top corner.  The goal proved to be the winner as United returned to winning ways and can possibly look forward to a consistent run in the League.  First priority is catching West Ham who are fourth and three points ahead.
  2. All eyes in Rangnick’s first match in charge was on the formation he would start with. Indeed, he made no changes to the team that won against Arsenal three days before and when asked about this before the match, Rangnick said that those players had the positivity of coming from a win and he wanted them to take it into the match against Palace.  I was positively impressed by this thinking from the Manager.  It’s very common that when a new boss comes in, he would change things around, sometimes just for the sake of changing and to show authority.  Rangnick thought otherwise and given the very little time he had with the players before this match, he went for stability and tried to build on the good of the previous week rather than leaping into the unknown.  Shows experience and a cool head, which will be needed in the weeks and months ahead.  My biggest question mark though and I had referred to it in my last article here was whether Ronaldo could adapt to a system of intense pressing.  I had my answer today because Cristiano was perfectly in sync with his teammates and worked as hard as everyone.
  3. Special mention goes to Fred today, not just because of his exquisite goal but mainly for his all-round performance, also in the last three matches. There has been talk of a new midfielder coming in at United for the last two years but if Fred continues in this form, it’s going to be difficult for any newcomers to dislodge him from the starting eleven, unless it’s a Jude Bellingham…

Looking forward to receiving your thoughts on the Facebook page.  GGMU

Article contributed by Contributor RoderickComments are appreciated on our Facebook page.