MANCHESTER UNITED’S new boss Ralf Rangnick was ‘positively surprised’ by how good his new team were against Crystal Palace.
The German led the Red Devils to a 1-0 win over the Eagles on Sunday in his first game in charge and admitted he did not expect such a high quality performance.
New Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick was ‘positively surprised’ by what he saw from his new team in their 1-0 win against Crystal PalaceCredit: AP
Man-of-the-match Fred scored the only goal – looping a right-footed effort beyond Vicente Guaita in the second-half.
And it was enough to earn all three points for the new manager who revealed his delight at what he saw after the final whistle.
Rangnick said: “To be honest, I was positively surprised by the physical state, intensity and performance of the players.
“Not only did we play in the late kick-off on Thursday, but we also had two days fewer than Crystal Palace to recover.
“I didn’t expect us to play at that level after only one-and-a-half training days together with them.
“It’s always easier to build on things when you’re successful.
“I want the players to believe in this kind of football.
“We continue in this direction, produce further clean sheets, and get better at creating chances ourselves.
“There is still space for improvement but today was more important for me to see how they played against the ball.”
United flew out the blocks and the difference could already be seen under Rangnick as every player pressed and harried with the game being played at a much higher tempo.
And although he’d have liked to have seen his team convert the pressure into goals, Rangnick was thrilled with the work his players put in.
‘MORE THAN HAPPY’
He added: “I’m more than happy.
“First of all, most importantly, we won the game. Second, we had a clean sheet, third I think we no doubt deserved to win, because we had control of the game.
“The first half hour was amazing. I felt it was extremely high tempo, high intensity, always on the front.
“The only thing that was missing in this first half hour was scoring one or two, if not three, goals.
“But it was clear that you cannot play the whole game, 90 minutes, on this kind of intensity level.
“But, still, even after that we had control of the game. Second half, we started the game well and, in the end, we deserved to win.
“I am more than happy with the clean sheet. Beautiful goal with his weak right foot from Fred.
“It was about gaining control and we had control most of the time of the game.”
Fred shone in the middle and earned a 9/10 from SunSport’s reporter.
His winning goal was rare and his new boss found time to crack a joke after.
Rangnick quipped: “I had to ask my assistant coach if that was Fred’s right foot, I could not believe it.
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“I thought he could only shoot with his left.
“Fred is a fantastic player. What he did with [Scott] McTominay against the ball today, this is what we need.
“I’m happy for him.”
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