Ralf Rangnick said he was positively surprised by the performance of Manchester United during their league game against Crystal Palace on Sunday, December 5, 2021.
The league game was Ralf Rangnick’s first game in charge of Manchester United which made him the 6th German tactician to coach a Premier League club.
Recall that after Manchester United sacked coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, they decided to appoint an interim coach that would lead the club until the end of the season.
After a series of speculations, the club settled for Ralf Rangnick who would spend the next 6 months at the club as the club’s manager before he would move on to become the club’s consultant for two years.
During the league game between Manchester United and Crystal Palace on Sunday, the German tactician started with the 4-2-2-2 formation which is an unusual formation at the club. The formation enforced Rangnick’s high-pressing football and the team maintained control over the game for most parts of the game.
In 90 minutes, Manchester United recorded 62 percent of the ball possession as against Crystal Palace’s 38 percent. United also enjoyed 16 shots but three of the shots managed to be on target. While Palace had 8 shots, two of which were on target.
The best part of the game for Manchester United’s supporters came in the 77th minute when Fred stunned everyone at Old Trafford by scoring the match-winner.
After the game, Ralf Rangnick revealed that he was surprised by the performance of his players because he had less than two days to train with them. He also revealed that he and the team had proper training for just 45 minutes ahead of the game due to bad weather in Manchester.
“To be honest, I was positively surprised by the physical state, intensity, and performance of the players,” Ralf Rangnick said.
“Not only did we play in the late kick-off on Thursday, but we also had two days fewer than Crystal Palace to recover. I didn’t expect us to play at that level after only one-and-a-half training days together with them.
“It’s always easier to build on things when you’re successful. I want the players to believe in this kind of football. We continue in this direction, produce further clean sheets, and get better at creating chances ourselves. There is still space for improvement but today was more important for me to see how they played against the ball.”
Ralf Rangnick praises Fred
Even though Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford led the Manchester United attack against Crystal Palace, it was the most unlikely player in the squad, Fred, that gave the club the win.
Before now, Fred used to be the most criticized player at the club, especially under coach Solskjaer. But he has won the heart of coach Ralf Rangnick with his stunning match-winner against Palace.
The Brazilian midfielder is known to have a strong left foot but he surprised most people who have been following his football career when he scored a long-range shot with his right foot.
“I had to ask my assistant coach if that was Fred’s right foot, I could not believe it,” Rangnick said. “I thought he could only shoot with his left.
“Fred is a fantastic player. What he did with (Scott) McTominay against the ball today, is what we need. I’m happy for him.”
The win over Manchester United has taken the club to the 6th spot with 24 points in 15 games, three points away from 4th placed West Ham United.
United’s next league game is a UEFA Champions League group stage game against Young Boys on Wednesday, December 8. Afterward, the club will play a league game against Norwich City on December 11.