Ralf Rangnick

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has explained his 4-2-2-2 formation in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League. 

Fred scored the match’s only goal 13 minutes from time, breaking down a stubborn Palace side that came close to scoring before the Brazilian grabbed the winner.

Speaking after the match, the German was full of praise for his side’s effort, particularly the first half showing wehen they overrun their opponents.

“The first half-hour was amazing,” Rangnick started, “and the only thing that was missing was scoring one or two goals. Even after that, we had control of the game.”

“For me it seemed logical to not make many changes after the win against Arsenal,” he said.

“The question was how do we get possession of the ball?

“We had enough space with Jadon [Sancho] and Bruno [Fernandes] in those number ten positions for our fullbacks to play forwards and ask for the ball on the wings. That was the reason I decided to play a 4-2-2-2.

“The most demanding positions in that formation are the tens and I think Bruno and Jadon did well in those positions. Defensively they both did well.

“Obviously it was about keeping them away from our goal, keeping them consistently under pressure and chasing balls and winning balls. We decided to go for a slightly different formation but only slightly different.

“We played with two strikers, Marcus and Cristiano up front with Jadon and Bruno on the 10 position and for the rest of the team it was the same position as usual. I just thought it might be better to have control in the centre of the pitch with Cristiano having a partner up front and I think it worked out well.”

United will next face Young Boys in the last Champions League group stage match.

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