Ralf Rangnick praises Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo's performances for Manchester United

Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has praised the contribution of his forwards in the team’s win over Burnley.

United won 3-1 after an excellent first half display in which the team scored more than one first half goal for the first time this season.

After a disappointing 1-1 draw at Newcastle, it was pleasant to see United start the game well and effectively wrap the game up after 45 minutes.

Although Scott McTominay was the man of the match in the win, manager Ralf Rangnick praised the contribution of the team’s front four.

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

United lined up in a more traditional 4-4-2 than a 4-2-2-2, with Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood out wide, supporting strikers Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rangnick told Amazon Prime’s live coverage: “It was important today to raise the energy level. Physically and energetically it was a good performance.

“I was pleased with the performance of our wingers. Jadon [Sancho] did well, especially after he scored, you could see it raised his confidence level, the same with Mason [Greenwood].

“And Edi [Edinson Cavani] the work ethic was amazing, together with Cristiano they did a good job and as as I said overall it was a good performance.”

A front four with an obvious omission

This was a strong performance from United which built around United’s strengths, strikers Ronaldo and Cavani.

Cavani was impressive without scoring, while Ronaldo netted the third goal and could have had at least one more.

This is a system United can and may repeat, but it will be at the expense of Bruno Fernandes, who was suspended for last night’s game.

If United repeat the 4-4-2 there is no obvious place for Fernandes as he is not a winger, nor a striker. The only other option is to deploy him as a central midfielder.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Fernandes is capable of playing as a central midfielder like Scott McTominay did, but it would be preferable to use him in a three in this role, rather than one of two, with his attacking instincts placing too much pressure on a defensive midfielder.

If United can acquire a top level defensive midfielder, younger than 33-year-old Nemanja Matic, then partnering him with Fernandes could be one United trial out in certain fixtures.

Until then, United will either have to change system to fit Fernandes in, or leave him on the bench, and he’s too talented to leave out altogether.

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