Norwich City – Manchester United: Rangnick’s Red Devils Huff And Puff To Another Win (0-1)
Ralf Rangnick came out on top in the battle of two new managers at Carrow Road, but only just. Manchester United needed a second-half penalty to get past Norwich City, who were organized and disciplined but did not pose enough of a threat going forward.
Tactical analysis and match report by Harshal Patel.
In appointing Ralf Rangnick as manager until the end of this season, Manchester United have brought in a tactician. But not just any tactician; someone who is credited with being the inspiration for the likes of Thomas Tuchel, Ralph Hasenhüttl, Julian Nagelsmann, Jürgen Klopp and many others.
For a lot of fans, it must have been quite refreshing to immediately see a change in United’s style of play in their previous Premier League game, against Crystal Palace. As an indicator of the rapid transformation that Rangnick was able to generate, Manchester United won the ball back 12 times in Palace’s third of the pitch, which is the highest since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
They were also sent out in a 4-2-2-2 formation, which is one of Rangnick’s favoured shapes, and something which has become a blueprint at the Red Bull stable of clubs where he was head of sport and development, as well as manager of Leipzig for short spells. Thus, with two games under the German, it was expected that this match against Norwich City would have even more of his influence stamped across the lineup and the team’s style of play.
Albeit nowhere near as heralded as Rangnick, new Norwich manager Dean Smith has also had a somewhat transformative effect on his new football club. Appointed swiftly following his . . .