Gary Neville suggests Ralf Rangnick picked Manchester United’s team against Chelsea because it was a ‘big midweek departure and what they did’ under Michael Carrick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
- Ralf Rangnick is announced as interim manager of Manchester United
- Temporary boss Michael Carrick still in charge of Chelsea trip
- United left Cristiano Ronaldo surprisingly on the bench at Stamford Bridge
- Gary Neville thought the lineup was chosen by the upcoming interim boss
Gary Neville believes Ralf Rangnick has had an influence on Manchester United’s playing style even before he officially joined the club.
Rangnick has reached an agreement with the Red Devils on the temporary takeover until the end of the season, before taking on a two-year consultancy role at Old Trafford.
Michael Carrick is still in temporary charge for United’s trip to Chelsea and there was a major shock to the match when it was announced that Cristiano Ronaldo would start on the bench.
Gary Neville believes Ralf Rangnick influenced Man United’s line-up against Chelsea
United opted for a cautious-looking midfield that included Scott McTominay (left) and Nemanja Matic (center)
Neville – who is not part of Sky Sports’ coverage before the match – tweeted that he felt the lineup had been chosen by incoming interim boss Rangnick.
Match of the Day host Gary Lineker disputed Neville’s claims, suggesting there was “zero” chance of Rangnick picking the team.
Neville originally wrote: ‘A lot of people try Michael Carrick for dropping Ronaldo and picking that MDF (midfield).
Rangnick has yet to be officially announced as the new interim manager at Old Trafford
“I feel like the manager-to-be chose that team because it’s a huge departure from midweek and what they’ve done.”
Lineker responded to the former United defender: ‘Can’t be true. Zero.’
Neville then asked Lineker if he had ‘seen Ed’, as if joking that the BBC presenter had spoken to Vice-Chairman Woodward. Lineker joked in response that he had spoken to Rangnick.
United opted for a cautious looking midfield three consisting of Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic, while Bruno Fernandes started up front with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford on the wings.
After kick-off, United immediately showed signs of wanting to pressure Chelsea with intensity.
This did not go unnoticed by Neville who immediately saw the change.
He tweeted: ‘After 1 minute of watching, I am now convinced of the influence on the team and the style!’
League leader Chelsea struggled to break Manchester United in the first half with the teams going into halftime still on level.
There was a surprise before the match as Cristiano Ronaldo stayed on the bench
Sky Sports pundits Roy Keane and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink spoke about United’s style change at halftime.
United legend Keane said: “Maybe that’s the start of a new beginning for United, but they have to hold on and do even more when they have possession of the ball.”
Ex-Chelsea striker Hasselbaink said United’s approach was the right way to play against the Blues.
He said: ‘You have to (play tactically), you can’t come here free of mind and you have to respect Chelsea.
United seemed to show more intensity in their pressing in the clash against Chelsea
“The right to put pressure on them in their half and keep the ball as far from your goal as possible.”
Keane added that United had to learn to pick the right times to press, pointing to their recent humiliating defeats to Liverpool at Old Trafford (5-0) and out at Watford (4-1).
He said: ‘It’s choosing when to press, don’t be so foolish as you did against Watford and Liverpool recently. Choose the right time to print.’