Ralf Rangnick explains his formation in first match in charge at Manchester United
 (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Manchester United interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, has said his focus was to gain control of the ball and thought the 4-2-2-2 formation would help that. 

Rangnick was incredibly open regarding tactics and formation discussions in his post-match press conference. 

His side beat Crystal Palace on Sunday in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford. 

How do United get control? 

Rangnick said Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes acted as two strikers in Sunday's formation. 

"For me, it was logical not to change too many positions or too many things after the win against Arsenal.

"Everyone was fully fit, nobody was injured, fully recovered, I started the same starting XI.

"For me, the question was how do we get pressure on the ball, how do we get control? So I decided to play 4-2-2-2 with two strikers, not Cristiano alone up front, together with Marcus, use pace for vertical balls.

"And, at the same time, with Jadon and Bruno on the two 10 positions, for the rest [of the players] it was the same.

"We had enough space with Bruno and Jadon in those 10 positions for our full-backs to play forward and ask for the ball on the wing. So they almost played like wing-backs.

"Especially in the first-half, Alex and Diogo, did extremely well offensively and that's why I played 4-2-2-2. I'm a big fan of every player play in his best possible position.

"The most challenging, demanding positions in that formation are the two 10s but I still think, especially when Palace was in possession, Bruno and Jadon did well. It was a little bit new but not that new, it doesn't make that much difference if Jadon plays a little further inside or outside but defensively they both did well," he added. 

Ralf believed in the formation

At around the 60-minute mark, Rangnick decided to take off Sancho who had arguably been United's most creative player. He also took off Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes. 

But that didn't change the formation of the squad as they were like-for-like changes. 

"We wanted to win, desperately. For me, it was logical to bring Mason on that position and Anthony and, in the end, Donny to replace Bruno. It went well, we scored the goal and deserved to win in the end.

"Mason did so well at the start of the season, I think he scored three or four goals in the first three games, he's a very gifted homegrown player and I would love to give him more game-time in the future.

"But, of course, he has to deserve his game-time in training and, therefore, it was good to have him on the bench and bring him on the pitch," Rangnick added. 

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