Five talking points from Man United vs Crystal Palace

man united crystal palace

What we learned from an interesting 90 minutes.

Manchester United defeated Crystal Palace 1-0 on Sunday afternoon, thanks to a gorgeous goal from Fred.

It was Ralf Rangnick’s first game in charge at the club, and he will be delighted to start with a win, even though it did look a bit shaky at some points during the game.

Here are five talking points that we’ve taken away from Rangnick’s first game in charge.

Man United vs Crystal Palace talking points

The formation

United definitely played with a 4-2-2-2 formation in Rangnick’s first game, which is something many predicted when he was appointed.

The McFred combination played in the two holding midfield roles, though we expect to see Donny van de Beek given a chance in that role over the coming weeks.

The formation worked to an extent, but it will take some getting used to from the players.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Many worried whether or not Ronaldo would buy into Rangnick’s style, but if the first game is anything to go by, that’s not going to be a problem.

Ronaldo could have scored a hat-trick in the first half alone based on the chances the team created, and did plenty of closing down when required.

Whether this is sustainable for an entire season remains to be seen, but on first glance there were no issues.

Diogo Dalot

The way Dalot played on Thursday against Arsenal was really refreshing, especially given what United fans are used to with Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right side of the pitch.

Dalot did well marking the dangerous Wilf Zaha on Sunday, with the difference between him and Wan-Bissaka going forward extremely evident. Wan-Bissaka’s place is now seriously in danger, something that never looked likely under the former manager.

Fred’s redemption

Once again, the Brazilian made the difference for United, but for the right reasons.

Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Fred had become a laughing stock, and almost everyone felt as though he should have been taken out of the team.

But under Carrick and Rangnick, Fred has been getting forward a lot more, and it’s really paying off. His goal against Palace was a thing of beauty.


The difference between the first and second half was really clear to see, with the intensity that United’s players worked with dropping off massively.

It will take some time for the United players to get used to this new level of pressing, and it will be interesting to see which players are up to the task, and which ones can’t hack it.

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