Ralf Rangnick made multiple changes to his Manchester United starting XI giving players on the periphery a golden opportunity to show their qualities – but it didn’t quite go to plan
Manchester United’s fringe stars failed to impress their new boss Ralf Rangnick against Young Boys on Wednesday night as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
The interim boss made multiple changes to his starting XI giving players on the periphery a golden opportunity to show their qualities.
But it didn’t quite go to plan as Fabian Rieder cancelled out Mason Greenwood’s opening strike to snatch a point for the Swiss side.
Which Manchester United fringe players took advantage of their opportunity against Young Boys? Comment below
He told BT Sport: “I was fully aware before the game that with this team that we played today, we haven’t played together as a team. The first half hour we did quite okay.
“We had a few unforced errors but had control of the game. We should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up. We had some great opportunities but we didn’t score. We were a bit sloppy with those situations.
“After we conceded the equaliser we were not defending high enough or pro-active enough. If in the end, the score would have been 4-4, then nobody could have complained.
“There were quite a few debuts and game time for players who desperately need game time. I wouldn’t say I was happy but it was okay.”
Here are five United players that had a below-par performance on the night.
Donny van de Beek
Man United fans have been crying out for Donny van de Beek to get some playing time under his belt, but unfortunately, he didn’t capitalise on the opportunity.
It was his mistake that led to Young Boys’ equaliser – something which Rangnick was annoyed with as he said his players ignored his instructions to play more direct, instead of playing out from the back.
He said: “What was really a little bit annoying was the way that we also gave the goal away, because we played too many balls into the first line of their pressing area.
“And this was also the case with the goal that we conceded. We could have cleared the ball easily and whenever we played the ball into the second or third line, we were always dangerous.
“I told them that before the game but they still played in that situation the ball a five-metre pass and [Young Boys] were just waiting for that ball. It was more or less a pressing invitation that we sent.”
He was the other culprit for the goal the hosts conceded as he was not ready to receive Van de Beek’s pass.
It summed up Aaron-Wan Bissaka’s night – he was on his heels, rather than his toes.
To make matters worse, the defender was stretchered off after colliding with an advertising board.
The midfielder has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford in January and his performance suggested his mind could be elsewhere.
Lingard was not a factor for United in their attacks and was pretty anonymous in the second half when they were searching for a winner.
Rangnick has a decision to make in the upcoming window as the likes of Newcastle circle the playmaker with his contract up at the end of the season.
But based on this showing, the interim boss could well keep him out in the cold.
The experienced Spaniard got a rare start on Wednesday night and it certainly looked as if he was rusty.
Mata’s effort can’t be faulted as he put in a valiant shift but nothing really came off for him.
The midfielder wasted a straightforward chance to make it 2-0 which could have made it an entirely different game.
It could have been a different story with a fit and firing Juan Mata.
SIPA USA/PA Images)
One of the youngsters who Rangnick opted to start, but he was a passenger for the majority of the first half.
He then had a chance to play Greenwood through on goal immediately after the break, but couldn’t find the killer pass.
Elanga would later have a one-on-one with just the keeper to beat but wasted the gilt-edge opportunity.
A night to forget for the academy graduate.