How good was Ralf Rangnick’s 4-2-2-2 formation against Crystal Palace?

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How good was Ralf Rangnick's 4-2-2-2 formation against Crystal Palace?
How good was Ralf Rangnick's 4-2-2-2 formation against Crystal Palace?

In the first match under the newly appointed manager, Manchester United defeated Crystal Palace 1-0 at Old Trafford to earn a crucial three points. It was the first win under German manager Ralf Rangnick. Brazilian midfielder Fred’s second half strike proved to be the game changer in the fixture which was dominated by the hosts. Apart from the win, the talking point of the match is Manchester United formation under Ralf Rangnick.

Manchester United formation under Ralf Rangnick. 
Manchester United formation under Ralf Rangnick.

In his first match, the German coach picked an unchanged team which defeated Arsenal 3-2 at Old Trafford under caretaker manager Michael Carrick. However, there was a slight formation change for Rangnick’s United side. This fixture was quite a difficult one for the manager because he only held one full training session with the squad ahead of the match against Crystal Palace, so it was difficult for the players to pick up his instructions and put into practice.

MANCHESTER UNITED LINE-UP AGAINST CRYSTAL PALACE

De Gea; Dalot, Maguire (c), Lindelof, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo.

Subs: Henderson; Bailly, Jones, Wan-Bissaka, Matic, van de Beek, Mata, Greenwood, Elanga.

MANCHESTER UNITED LINE-UP AGAINST CRYSTAL PALACE
MANCHESTER UNITED LINE-UP AGAINST CRYSTAL PALACE

Ralf Rangnick decided to switch to an innovative 4-2-2-2. The four usual defenders were same. Defensive midfielders Scott McTominay and Fred were deployed in front of the back four, Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes ahead of them as playmakers behind a front two of Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford.

Truly speaking, Manchester United under Ralf Rangnick showed greater control against the opposition in the new formation of 4-4-2. The most important fact was that the team kept a crucial clean sheet at the Old Trafford. It was only the third clean sheet this season. Manchester United’s new formation allowed their full-backs to play prominent attacking roles.

Here’s what Ralf Rangnick said on the control of game:

“I think everybody saw that. In quite a few games I saw on TV and also against Arsenal, we were a bit shaky in certain times of the game but today we had the feeling that we controlled the game. Bearing in mind that we had two days less to recover, the energy that the boys put into the game is to be even more appreciated.”