Ralf Rangnick explains Manchester United shift to 4-1-3-2 against Newcastle

Manchester United scrapped to a 1-1 draw against Newcastle at St James’ Park after coming from a goal behind.

United conceded an early goal after Allan Saint-Maximin struck just six minutes into the game.

United were ineffective going forward and interim boss Ralf Rangnick ran the changes at half-time with a double subsitutiton.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

The 4-2-2-2 went out the window with Fred taken off for Jadon Sancho and Scott McTominay left as a sole holding midfielder.

Mason Greenwood was replaced by Edinson Cavani, with United utilising three attackers behind two strikers as the team chased the game.

Rangnick explained his attacking decision to Sky Sports after the match, which saw substitute Cavani net the equaliser.

He said: “Second half we changed from 4-2-2-2 into a 4-1-3-2, the intention was to play on the wing, it was the way we prepared our equaliser.

“We had another two opportunities playing the ball behind their back four. Edinson could have scored another one.”

Attacking gamble just about paid off

As Rangnick pointed out, with more clinical finishing from Cavani, United would be celebrating the win and an impressive comeback.

But it was not all one way traffic in the second half, not at all. Newcastle came close to bagging a winner themselves on more than one occasion.

David de Gea’s heroics kept Newcastle at bay, with United’s high risk attacking strategy leaving an open game, with Eddie Howe’s side managing eight shots on target to United’s four.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

While Rangnick may see it as one point gained, it was also two dropped from a Red Devils perspective. It means that winning the two games in hand will only take United into fifth, rather than fourth.

Up next for United are home games against Burnley and Wolves. United have seven points from three league games under Rangnick, remaining unbeaten, just about.

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