Cristiano Ronaldo showed he can conform to Ralf Rangnick’s pressing game by making more pressures against Arsenal than in any of his previous Manchester United games this season.

The 36-year-old was the Red Devils hero against the Gunners from a goalscoring point of view on Thursday night, netting twice in the second half to engineer a 3-2 victory at Old Trafford.

But it was Ronaldo’s pressing game that stood out on Thursday under the watchful eye of Rangnick in the stands, with the Portuguese forward pressing the Gunners 27 times in the game, nearly double his season average of 14.4 every 90 minutes.

The 36-year-old also made 16 pressure on the Arsenal backline in United’s attacking third, more than five times as many during his last Premier League start against Watford, which saw United lose 4-1 and led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.

United’s new interim manager Rangnick is expected to bring a high-pressing game to Old Trafford between now and the end of the season, with the eight-second win back rule a popular training regime under the German.

Explaining that game, Rangnick said earlier in his career ‘We use (a stopwatch) for a game called the eight-second rule. The players can hear that ticking and they know they have to get the ball back within eight seconds or, if they have possession, they need to take a shot within 10 seconds.

‘It can be irritating for them at first but what we noticed is this type of training can affect players. Within weeks, they adjust their style of play and it becomes an instinct.’

Rangnick will be pleased that Ronaldo’s first goal, which saw the Portuguese forward score from Marcus Rashford’s cross, came from United winning the ball back from Arsenal and the scoring within ten seconds.

After Nuno Tavares intercepted a United pass, his ball to Emile Smith Rowe was collected by Diogo Dalot, who released Rashford down the right wing straight away.

Around ten seconds after Dalot intercepted the ball, Ronaldo had swept Rashford’s cross into the net to make it 2-1 to the Red Devils.

That first Ronaldo goal had completed a turnaround for the Red Devils after Bruno Fernandes had cancelled out Smith Rowe’s opener in the first-half.

Martin Odegaard equalised almost immediately after Ronaldo’s first goal but the Norwegian midfielder then fouled Fred to give United a penalty, which then resulted in Ronaldo getting a second goal.

Please follow and like us:

2 Responses

Comments are closed.