How United's press caught Palace out
Pressing has been one of the main motifs of conversation surrounding Ralf Rangnick's appointment as Manchester United's interim manager.
The 63-year-old has been proclaimed as 'the godfather of gegenpressing' in his native Germany, having inspired the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel to adopt the fast, high-energy style that is so in vogue in modern European football.
United fans were granted their first look at how the Reds will adapt to Rangnick's methods during Sunday's 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, with Opta highlighting that that we won possession 12 times in the final third against the Eagles - that's more than in any of our other 14 Premier League fixtures so far this season.
As you can see in the clip above, our Box-to-Box feature, where pundits Niall McCaughan and Danny Webber analyse the game from a tactical point of view, also picked out United's energetic play in the visitors' half as a noteworthy observation from the weekend.
“That’s what he [Ralf] brings, he wants his players to press high up. There’s a physical demand to that, which he’ll make sure happens,” begins Webber.
It is then highlighted how Bruno Fernandes – playing as one of two nominal no.10s in Rangnick’s 4-2-2-2 system – and attacker Marcus Rashford worked to close off the passing avenues for Palace’s back four, giving them nowhere to go.
“When you’re playing against a team like Palace, they’re comfortable in possession,” continued Danny. “Their mindset is attacking so, when you attack, you spread. United are hunting and there are numerous players there waiting for things to happen.
“Three midfielders, two attackers, all waiting and trying to push Crystal Palace in a certain direction.”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s work in shutting down Palace left-back Tyrick Mitchell is also emphasised.
Mitchell has no choice but to pump the ball long down the touchline, enabling United to turn over possession and launch another attack into the final third.
“I think the important thing to point out is that they’re not set up to defend when United win the ball back,” adds Webber.
“The positions you take up, when attacking and defending, are very different so they end up making recovery runs and United are in the right areas in the attacking area of the pitch.”