Manchester United beat Crystal Palace in Ralf Rangnick’s first game in charge at Old Trafford. Rangnick debuted the 4-2-2-2 formation in his first game and there were already many signs of his impact. One surprising statistic that Manchester United achieved was the number of times they won the ball in the final third.
Manchester United won possession in the final third 12 times vs. Crystal Palace.
That’s the most they’ve done so in a Premier League match since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
What an impact Ralf Rangnick has made already! 📈 pic.twitter.com/z1rigMRwnb
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 5, 2021
Quite frankly, this is a shocking statistic as it has almost been a decade since Sir Alex retired and none of the previous United managers were able to set up their teams to win the ball high. Over the last decade, most successful teams relied heavily on pressing and counter-pressing as their main on-field strategy. None of United’s managers post Sir Alex focused on pressing but finally, it looks like United have made the right choice in appointing Ralf Rangnick.
It will take time for Rangnick to implement his philosophy at United but the initial foundations of it were seen in the game against Crystal Palace. United’s full-backs were given the freedom to play high and provide the width and there was a clear and coherent pressing strategy unlike the one under Solskjaer.