Gary Neville laments Ralf Rangnick's 'strange' decision in City clash meaning FIVE forwards missing

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Gary Neville questions ‘strange’ Manchester United formation during clash at derby rivals City – as club legend laments Ralf Rangnick’s decision to overlook Marcus Rashford up front

  • Gary Neville has questioned Ralf Rangnick’s tactics in the Manchester derby
  • Manchester United lost 3-1 against their bitter rivals at the Etihad on Sunday 
  • Red Devils legend Neville called the formation with no genuine strikers ‘strange’
  • Five different forwards missed out on the United squad for various reasons 


Gary Neville has called into question Ralf Rangnick’s tactics as Manchester United were thrashed 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 central strikers Edinson Cavani, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood all missing out for different reasons. 

And club legend Neville, working on commentary for Sky Sports, did not hide his concerns with the Red Devils’ setup.

Gary Neville has questioned Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick’s formation in the club’s disappointing 4-1 defeat against rivals Manchester City in the derby on Sunday evening

Rangnick played a 4-2-2-2 setup at the Etihad with two midfielders as the two central strikers

He said: ‘It’s strange when you look at Manchester United’s shape and see where (Paul) Pogba and (Bruno) Fernandes are, almost as two centre forwards with (Anthony) Elanga and (Jadon) Sancho either side.

‘When you think of what Manchester United had at the start of the season to call upon – Martial, Greenwood, Rashford, Ronaldo and Cavani – none of them is here on the pitch today for various different reasons.

‘I was just absolutely sure when I turned up today Rashford would play centre forward, with Elanga and Sancho either side of him. Purely to have that point up front and that counter attack with the pace.

And Red Devils legend Neville (pictured) lamented five different forwards being unavailable

A Kevin De Bruyne double, bookending Jadon Sancho’s equaliser, saw the hosts and Premier League leaders going in at half-time 2-1 up, but Riyad Mahrez’ second-half brace saw Pep Guardiola’s men end up comfortable and confident 4-1 winners. 

Neville added during the match: ‘I’m struggling a little bit to wonder how United are going to get the ball up to a front player, to get themselves playing, particularly when they get pushed deep by Manchester City. I know they have deployed that split striker system before but this feels different.

‘There’s almost two players up front, it’s that 4-2-2-2 Ralf Rangnick likes. It means Elanga and Sancho are not really split strikers, they’re too wide. (Rashford) is whispering to (Juan) Mata saying “Shouldn’t we be out there, mate?!”.’

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