Manchester United won with a new tactic vs Burnley

Ralf Rangnick said Manchester United benefited from selecting the ‘right players in the right positions’ against Burnley.

United recovered from their shambolic 1-1 draw with Newcastle to beat Burnley 3-1 to move up to sixth in the Premier League table.

Rangnick retained the 4-2-2-2 formation that United have started in since he took over as manager four weeks ago, with Mason Greenwood playing from the right and Jadon Sancho operating off the left.

Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo started together for just the second time and, like in the win at Tottenham, United scored three goals again.

Scott McTominay opened the scoring against Burnley and was United’s standout performer next to Nemanja Matic, who occupied a ‘quarterback’ role, according to Rangnick.

“It was about fresh legs, fresh energy, fresh bodies, more physicality against this team,” Rangnick said. “We knew how difficult they would be, how persistent they would play and it was a little bit of a war of attrition, a little bit of a difficult one to play and it was important to have six fresh players on the pitch compared to the game against Newcastle.

“And in the end it paid off with the right players in the right positions. For me, it was important to have every player in his best possible position, which was why we decided to play Jadon from the left and Mason from the right, the two strikers up front and we decided to play with the two sixes.

“Nemanja in the team [was] as a sort of a quarterback player who could calm the game down and play the passes from that position and Scotty’s energy is contagious – in a positive way – and it was an extremely good performance by Scotty today.

“They (Ronaldo and Cavani) showed today together with Mason and Jadon, it was highly important. They had to do a lot of negative runs just to keep them away as often as possible from our own box, this had to start with the four up front.

“We had the most offensive possible formation today and therefore it’s important if you play with such an offensive formation and line-up that they work together defensively and they have defensive work. And that was the case with both of them, Cristiano and Edinson did a lot for the team against the ball today.

“We will see (if Cavani and Ronaldo start against Wolves). We have Bruno back against Wolves and quite a few options didn’t play today, so up front we have enough other alternatives we could play with.”