Former Manchester United duo highlight instant Rangnick impact

“You could definitely see there was a different way of playing against Palace than it has been all season.”

The pundits are all having their say on Ralf Rangnick’s first game in charge.

Unfortunately for some, Manchester United beat Crystal Palace convincingly, but for others whom are former players it was great to see the Reds win, perform so well and manage to keep a rare clean sheet.

I will stress that Palace are no pushovers. They’ve already beaten Man City away from home and drew with Arsenal this season, with Patrick Vieira earning lots of credit as manager after replacing Roy Hodgson.

However, Rangnick is the man United decided was the best to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and he got off to a perfect start on Sunday. The Reds won 1-0 and bossed the game with his controlling style of play.

Former club captain Gary Neville dissected the game on Monday Night Football. He brought an array of stats to the table to show how much of an improvement there was from Rangnick’s first game in charge.

It showed how opponents had managed an average of 14.6 shots against United in previous outings, with 4.9 on target, but that was reduced to 8 and 2 respectively against a decent Palace side.

“They were more competitive with more tackles and more duels,” Neville said. “Possessions won in the final third was a massive one (rising from 4.1 to 12) so what they did was sustained attacks, they stopped teams cutting back through them and they stopped counter attacks.

“In terms of opposition passes per defensive action (falling from 14.7 to 10), they won the ball back quicker.”

Neville added that United didn’t do as much running but they worked more efficiently, saying: “Everybody thought it would be Klopp-style heavy metal, more work, more running.

“Actually, they didn’t do as much running yesterday but what they did was work smarter.”

Footage courtesy of Sky Sports

Luke Chadwick was also impressed.

Although United didn’t win by the biggest of margins, Chadwick could see how much of a positive impact Rangnick was having on the team.

“You could see there was a different way of playing against Palace than it has been all season,” Chadwick exclusively told CaughtOffside. “I think it will go down as a positive start, it wasn’t free-flowing football all the way through but the team played with a lot more imagination.

“You could see differences in the way they played, with more numbers high up the pitch, you could see that Rangnick has stamped his authority on it straight away, and that’s what you want to see, the team change its style and get results.

“It’s a good run of games for him now over the next ten to twelve matches, you could see United getting some positive results out of them, so he’s come in at the right time. Carrick did a good job in the games he was in charge of but you could definitely see a change in style at the weekend.”

Long may this trail of positivity continue.

More Stories Crystal Palace Gary Neville Luke Chadwick Manchester United Ralf Rangnick