Tuesday, January 25, 2022
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Ralf Rangnick’s gegenpressing and how it can help Manchester United

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Ralf Rangnick’s first game in charge of Manchester United culminated in a 1-0 triumph over Crystal Palace on Sunday, putting the German’s stamp on the team.

He kept the same lineup as the one that beat Arsenal 3-2 on Thursday, but it was a very different type of game from the one that beat the Gunners. From the first whistle, there was an enthusiasm in the press that had been severely lacking all season, and that full-throttle start immediately galvanized the Old Trafford fanbase.

Forwards Performed Admirably

Marcus Rashford was one of the players who stood out for his work ethic, starting almost upfront alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, who many feared wouldn’t be able to keep up with Rangnick’s incessant pressure.

Despite the fact that Rashford was substituted after 75 minutes, his efforts were important in the victory, as Fred swept home Mason Greenwood’s pull back a minute later.

While Rashford was the press leader, Ronaldo did not stand and allow him to do so, as some had predicted. The Portuguese superstar was significantly more adept in regaining possession of the ball, allowing United to control the game with 61 percent possession.

Bruno Fernandes was rather unsuccessful as a result of the almost 4-4-2 formation, as he did a lot of work in wide areas throughout the game until being replaced by Donny van de Beek late on.

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Since joining United in January 2020, Fernandes has been the club’s top performer, but with Ronaldo’s return this summer, the 27-year-old has faded into the background as his compatriot steals the limelight. Rangnick will need to re-ignite Fernandes’ career if United is to be successful this season, with the title seemingly out of reach.

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