Manchester United – West Ham United: Rashford Comes To Rangnick’s Rescue (1-0)
Marcus Rashford came off the bench to score a last-gasp winner at Old Trafford against West Ham United, which propelled Manchester United into the top four. This was the best performance defensively since Ralf Rangnick’s arrival, while there are some patterns of play beginning to emerge on the ball as well. West Ham were disciplined but did not offer a threat in open play, but David Moyes will be bitterly disappointed at losing out on a point with the last kick of the game.
Tactical analysis and match report by Harshal Patel.
Manchester United welcomed surprise top four contenders West Ham United to Old Trafford, with the side showing definite signs of improvement as time passes under Ralf Rangnick’s management. They had defeated Brentford 3-1 in their last league game, with the second half showcasing just what the German wants in an attacking sense from this side. The benefits of a structured tactical approach are now being seen at the club, and with a two-week break coming up after this game, Manchester United needed a win to continue their forward momentum and break into the top four.
There was just one enforced change in the United lineup from the side that defeated Brentford – Victor Lindelöf’s family were the unfortunate victim of a break-in at their home during that game, and he was therefore given time off to be with them. Captain Harry Maguire was reinstated into the defense instead, alongside Raphaël Varane. 19-year-old winger Anthony Elanga was given another opportunity with a start on the left, with Rangnick continuing to send the side out in a 4-3-3 formation, having adapted . . .