Guardiola spots changes in United's style

Friday 04 March 2022 16:00

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is aware of the differences in the way United are playing under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

The Blues top the Premier League table at the moment but the Reds have an impressive recent record at the Etihad Stadium and will be out to upset our local rivals' bid to retain the title.

Guardiola is wary of the attacking armoury at our disposal again this weekend, as well as the shrewd tactician in Rangnick, who will look to nullify the hosts' own threat.

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"With United, you see the players up front, in the middle with players like Paul Pogba, [Nemanja] Matic and Fred with his energy, and the speed they have on the sides," said Guardiola. "The central defenders [Raphael] Varane, [Harry] Maguire and [Victor] Lindelof, of course they have experience.

"So all of them and the bench they have, I see this. I don’t see a 19-point lead, or whatever we have. I don’t see points and I don’t care. I know we can win or lose and we will work today on the way we have to beat them. 

"We are good at reading the situations in every moment and this is what we are going to do, knowing it is a different manager from last season and you start to realise what they want to do. They are more aggressive up front and there are moments they press, so intense, and moments they drop. When the ball is on the side, they have deep runners and they have quality to do this. The people up front are the best, alongside maybe Liverpool and with Chelsea. We know it and we have to control it."

Rangnick's coaching pedigree is obviously clear for all to see and the Blues manager believes it is part of a wider shift in philosophy that is taking place across the English top flight.

"I would say the idea from Ralf Rangnick is the tendency already in the Premier League," he added. "So many teams want to play in this way. Ralf Rangnick is like the father of the gegenpress or these transitions. We see that with Liverpool, Southampton and with Jesse Marsch now at Leeds, a little bit with Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel, although Thomas Tuchel plays a little bit wider with wing-backs. But it is the tendency.

"Most of the clubs who are already here in England are playing this way, and important ones. Five or six teams are playing in this way. The work he [Rangnick] has done in Germany is exceptional. In Leipzig, he created a proper school. From Austria and New York, all the teams play the same way. I think he came here to try and instil it and you see some patterns of how he wants to do it."