Ralf Rangnick's Man United debut win hints at new Old Trafford manager's philosophy


What did we learn about the Man Utd win?

The differences Manchester United showed in the first game of a new manager were noticed by Janusz. 1:04

12:57 PM

The fans who watched the German's managerial reign begin with a win over Crystal Palace will have been convinced of what his team is supposed to look.

It wasn't a "gegenpressing" masterpiece, but there were at least the hallmarks of the style of play that the man credited with defining it was known for.

The most important stat from his first game as a manager was that United scored and Crystal Palace did not, but it was telling that his team won the ball in the attacking third of the pitch 12 times.

- You can watch FC Daily on the internet.

Do you not have ESPN? Get immediate access.

Having pointed out at his first news conference that United have conceded too many goals this season, and that a first home clean sheet since April was registered, he can be happy that a first home clean sheet since April was registered.

While there is work to be done, the new man in charge will take any positives he can after being parachuted into the job during the most frantic time of the season.

The decisive moment took some time to arrive, but Fred's 77th-minute goal was enough for United to move up to sixth.

The way the team performed, the way they played, especially the first half hour, I thought was exceptional. There was only one or two nil that period. I am very happy with the result and the clean sheet, we had control of the game.

In my first press conference, I said there were things we needed to improve on. They showed more than I expected.

Fred's first goal since the opening weekend of the season secured victory for Man United.

The United line-up was the same as the one that was used against the Gunners on Thursday, but the style was noticeably different in the first 30 minutes. In his programme notes, he said he wanted to be more proactive with and without the ball.

The away side's goal kick was knocked short by Tyrick Mitchell. Scott McTominay thundered into a challenge and won back the ball after a panicked Palace pass into the middle.

The home fans roared as if they had been deprived of such intensity. Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United appeared reluctant to play on the front foot, but that is not an accusation which can be leveled at Rangnick.

When Palace tried to play out of defence, United pressed high up the pitch and swarmed around yellow shirts whenever they got the chance.

For a period in the first half it seemed like they would score, and Patrick Vieira would have been happy to see the players run out of steam at the half-time break. They only had two training sessions under their new manager.

"Patience was important, but we always tried to be on the front foot, that's what I liked today," he said. We were trying to keep them away from the goal. We wanted to play with two strikers and two 10s to get more control in the middle of the field.

I was pleasantly surprised. The weather was so bad that it was almost impossible to train in a focused manner. I didn't think they would play at that level after a short time.

The players were asked to be proactive. With the score still at 0, Solskjaer made his first change of the game, bringing on Mason Greenwood for Sancho, shortly after the hour mark.

The move paid off when the substitute gave the ball to Fred, who shot a 20-yard shot across Guaita and into the top corner. After punching the air and telling his players to lift themselves for the final 13 minutes, he clenched both fists.

"I had to ask my assistant coach if that was Fred's right foot," said Rangnick. I thought he could only shoot his left. I'm happy for him.

It was just one game and United are outside the top four places, but there are signs of an upward trajectory. There is a new era.

It's easier to build on things after you're successful. We need to get better at creating chances for our attack. I was very pleased with how we played today.