Gary Neville questions Manchester United’s ‘strange’ formation in clash against derby rivals City – as club legend laments Ralf Rangnick’s decision to ignore Marcus Rashford up front
- Gary Neville questioned Ralf Rangnick’s tactics in the Manchester derby
- Manchester United lost 3-1 to bitter rivals at the Etihad on Sunday
- Red Devils legend Neville has called the formation without real strikers ‘strange’
- Five different strikers have missed United’s squad for various reasons
Gary Neville questioned Ralf Rangnick’s tactics as Manchester United were beaten 4-1 by fierce rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The visitors lined up in a 4-2-2-2 formation, with two midfielders in the two forward positions and centre-backs Edinson Cavani, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood all absent for different reasons.
And club legend Neville, working on commentary for Sky Sports, made no secret of his concerns over the Red Devils’ setup.
Gary Neville questioned the formation of Manchester United caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick during the club’s disappointing 4-1 loss to rivals Manchester City in the derby on Sunday night.
Rangnick played a 4-2-2-2 setup at the Etihad with two midfielders as two central forwards
He said: “It’s strange when you look at Manchester United’s form and see where (Paul) Pogba and (Bruno) Fernandes are, almost like two centre-forwards with (Anthony) Elanga and (Jadon) Sancho on either side. .
“When you think about what Manchester United could call on at the start of the season – Martial, Greenwood, Rashford, Ronaldo and Cavani – none of them are here on the pitch today for different reasons.
“I was absolutely sure that when I arrived today Rashford would be playing centre-forward, with Elanga and Sancho either side of him. Just to get that point up front and that counterattack with the rhythm.
And Red Devils legend Neville (pictured) lamented that five different strikers were unavailable
A brace from Kevin De Bruyne, finishing an equalizer from Jadon Sancho, saw the hosts and Premier League leaders enter at half-time 2-1, but Riyad Mahrez’s second-half brace saw the Pep Guardiola’s men find themselves comfortable and confident 4-1 winners.
Neville added during the game: “I’m having a bit of a hard time wondering how United are going to get the ball to a leading player, to get played, especially when pushed deep by Manchester City.” I know they’ve rolled out this split attacker system before, but it looks different.
“There are almost two players up front, that’s that 4-2-2-2 that Ralf Rangnick likes. It means Elanga and Sancho aren’t really separate strikers, they’re too wide. (Rashford) whispers to (Juan) Mata saying “Shouldn’t we be over there, buddy?!”.