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Fascinating Thread Shows Manchester United's Pressing Patterns In Ralf Rangnick's First Game

Josh Lawless

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Fascinating Thread Shows Manchester United's Pressing Patterns In Ralf Rangnick's First Game

A fan has created a detailed thread showing Manchester United's pressing patterns in Ralf Rangnick's first match in charge.

United got off to a winning start under their new interim boss, with Fred's stunning right-footed strike from outside the box the only goal of the game against Crystal Palace.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Already there were plenty of encouraging signs for United, who lined up in a 4-2-2-2 formation and had Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho playing as No.10s behind the forward pairing of Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford.


Diogo Dalot was also in at right-back ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, in what was an unchanged team from the side that beat Arsenal under caretaker manager Michael Carrick on Thursday.

But the major difference was the pressing and intensity from United. Although not perfect after only having a few days on the training pitch, the Red Devils were able to win the ball in the final third a lot more than they had previously.

Image: PA
Image: PA

The constant squeezing and ability to spot pressing triggers pinned Palace back and negated their incredibly dangerous counter-attacking opportunities.

@Yanitedscout posted a series of clips and analysed the times United pressed well, as well as the instances they didn't quite get it right and were bypassed.

You can't master this way of playing overnight and it was far from perfect, but the early signs were positive for Rangnick.

One of the 63-year-old's favourite training drills is called the 'Countdown Clock', where players have to regain possession in eight seconds and create a goalscoring chance within ten seconds.

Against Palace, Rangnick liked what he saw - in particular the displays from Fernandes and Jadon in a role he believes is the most demanding in the system deployed.

"We had enough space with Bruno and Jadon in those 10 positions for our full-backs to play forward and ask for the ball on the wing," Rangnick told Sky Sports.

"They [Bruno and Sancho] almost played like wing-backs. Especially in the first-half, Alex [Telles] and Diogo [Dalot], did extremely well offensively and that's why I played 4-2-2-2. I'm a big fan of every player plays in his best possible position.

"The most challenging, demanding positions in that formation [4-2-2-2] are the two 10s but I still think, especially when Palace was in possession, Bruno and Jadon did well."

Rangnick's next game in charge comes against Young Boys in the Champions League on Wednesday, before they travel to bottom club Norwich City.

Featured Image Credit: Image: Premier League & Twitter/@Yanitedscout

Topics: Manchester United, Ralf Rangnick, Fred, Crystal Palace, Premier League

Josh Lawless
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