Man United started their reign under Ralf Rangnick with a win against Crystal Palace.
The Red Devils struggled to break Palace in the first half but remained the dominant side. A lone goal from Fred in the second half proved to be enough to seal all three points against Patrick Vieira’s side.
Meanwhile, Rangnick’s philosophy is already somewhat apparent in the way the team played. On that note, let’s take a look at three key points from the fixture:
1. A Near-perfect Start
United seemed a different team under the German coach – they controlled the game from start to finish, were intense when they pressed and had a progressive style of play.
It is safe to say this squad can be special if the new head coach’s ideas are implemented properly.
2. United Took the Foot Off the Gas
The second-half performance from the Mancunians was not as bright as the first. The pressing was less intense and lacked the venom it carried in the first half.
With the season approaching its halfway mark, it is not surprising that the players are not in the right fitness to cope with the pressing. Moreover, it will take them some time to adapt to the gegenpressing approach.
3. Fred the Hero
The Brazilian has continued his fine form and seemed determined to impress the new boss. From start to finish, Fred controlled both ends of the pitch and delivered a near-perfect box-to-box performance. And the goal was the cherry on top to cap off his best performance of the season.
Paul Pogba should really start feeling threatened, for if the former Shakhtar man continues his form, he may lose his place to him.
It is unclear right now whether the squad has already resonated with the new boss’ philosophy or if they are in what fans like to call the ‘honeymoon period’. Whichever it may be, one thing is certain – if this group of players can really internalise the 63-year-old’s ideas, they have a real chance at getting back on top.