PL: Fred stunner vs Palace gives winning start to Man Utd’ Rangnick era
- Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 1-0
- This was their first clean sheet at home in 16 games in all competitions
- Man Utd are sixth in the table, with 24 points from 15 games
Brazilian midfielder Fred scored a stunning second-half goal to get the Ralf Rangnick era at Manchester United underway with a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace on Sunday. There were plenty of positives for United, including a more energetic performance as the German’s gegenpressing system takes shape and a first home clean sheet in 16 games in all competitions.
But with Patrick Viera’s Palace dogged in defence for much of the game, it seemed as though the Red Devils will have to settle for a draw. On the 77th minute-mark, Fred – who was one of the primary scapegoats under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – curled in a brilliant effort over the keeper from outside the box to find the top-right corner.
It was only the enigmatic Brazilian’s second goal of the season, and the first time since September that United have recorded consecutive league wins. The win takes United up to sixth in the Premier League table, above Arsenal – who play Everton on Monday – and a point behind Tottenham Hotspur – who beat Norwich in their fixture.
United created a number of opportunities until Fred’s strike, with Alex Telles brushing the crossbar with a freekick although keeper Vicente Guaita seemed to have his angles covered.
Palace, who were looking to win at Old Trafford for a third season in a row, had a chance to steal the lead when Jordan Ayew diverted James Tomkins’ header across goal and narrowly wide of the far post.
The win means Rangnick is third United manager since Alex Ferguson left to win their first match in charge, with only Louis Van Gaal failing to emulate that feat. The German is yet to have a full training session with United but his imprint was already visible with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo also forcing Palace into early mistakes.
This was also the first time that the Eagles have lost three games in a row under Viera and are currently six points off the relegation zone.