Manchester United v Crystal Palace: Premier League – live!
15 min: Palace win a corner, they take it short, and Zaha smacks it towards the far post. But the cross is overhit and goes over everybody - a waste of a really good attacking opporutunity for Vieira’s men.
12 min: Rashford wins a free-kick just outside the area, on the Manchester United left. Ronaldo lines it up, with Fernandes also looking interested. But of course it’s Ronaldo who hits it, taking his time before doing so and letting the crowd build themselves into a froth of anticipation. It’s a sweet strike over the wall but is always going high over the bar. A positive start for the hosts, anyway.
Updated at 2.15pm GMT
8 min: Manchester United push Palace back again. The visitors’ penalty area is packed with yellow-shirted defenders. Ronaldo finds himself with the space to whip a shot in the direction of the far post, but his effort flies well wide ... Palace take possession down to the other end and Benteke has a shot from outside the box which is straight at De Gea.
Updated at 2.12pm GMT
7 min: A half-chance for Benteke at the other end, a glimpse of goal for the Palace forward from the corner of the six-yard box, but the flag was up for offside.
6 min: Again, fierce Manchester United pressing wins possession back high up the field for the home team. Ronaldo shows good pace and mobility to play his part in taking the ball back ... the footballing equivalent of leaving a juicy, ripe apple on Ralf Rangnick’s desk.
Updated at 2.08pm GMT
4 min: Good pressing from Manchester United (which certainly hasn’t always been the case in recent weeks and months) wins it back high from Palace. Ronaldo soon has a shot which deflects out for another Manchester United corner.
3 min: Marcus Rashford is released down the United left, and is brough down by Tompkins, but instead of a free-kick it’s a corner. From the resulting set piece, Telles cracks a shot just wide from the edge of the box! Guaita watches it sail past his left-hand post, but I’m not sure he had it covered.
2 min: Benteke tries to link with Zaha for Palace early doors, but Kouyate, who started the move, has gone down injured after a challenge in midfield from Fred.
Updated at 2.04pm GMT
First half kick-off!
The players (and coaches) take the knee, uniting against racism and all forms of discrimination – and we’re off!
Updated at 2.02pm GMT
Wayne “Wazza” Rooney has just taken his place in the directors’ box at Old Trafford. The teams are about to come out on to the pitch. The Rangnick era is about to begin.
Updated at 1.57pm GMT
Wilfried Zaha captains Crystal Palace at Old Trafford this afternoon.
Control, control, control: Ralf Rangnick’s mantra regarding what Manchester United are missing was also an apt characterisation of a 63-year-old who having just strode into a behemoth global football club oozed calm and clarity during his first media conference as their interim manager.
A bit of other team news: Ivan Toney of Brentford has tested positive for Covid-19, and misses their trip to Leeds as a result.
“There was no reason to change the team [after the win over Arsenal] ... they need to enjoy it,” says Rangnick:
Klopp, Tuchel, Rangnick and the Premier League’s Germanification
By Andy Brassell:
“Rangnick ... inadvertently shook German football culture in December 1998 when giving a de facto seminar on a tactics board on the Saturday night institution Das Aktuelle Sportstudio , the German equivalent of Match of the Day .”
Pre-match reading, part one, from Richard Jolly:
Updated at 1.27pm GMT
Manchester United are unchanged from the side that defeated Arsenal 3-2 on Thursday, while there are two changes for Crystal Palace, with Nathaniel Clyne and Christian Benteke coming in, at full-back and up front respectively.
Manchester United: De Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Alex Telles, McTominay, Fred, Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Ronaldo. Subs: Bailly, Jones, Mata, Greenwood, Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Matic, van de Beek, Elanga.
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Clyne, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell, Schlupp, Kouyate, Gallagher, Ayew, Benteke, Zaha. Subs: Butland, Milivojevic, Olise, Eze, Hughes, Mateta, Edouard, Kelly, Riedewald.
Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)
Updated at 2.12pm GMT
Is Cristiano Ronaldo an expensive liability or a gegenpressing goal machine? Is Harry Maguire a League One-level clogger or a Franz Beckenbauer-in-waiting? Are Manchester United a serious football club or more a social media content provider? These are some of the questions Ralf Rangnick will need to answer during his time at Manchester United, however long it may last: his insistence on a two-year consultancy deal is a bit like the club’s top management being put on special measures by their new employee.
Another pertinent question: Do players lose you games, or tactics? One wonders if, in all the excitement, Rangnick had time to watch Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea fall at West Ham yesterday largely due to a succession of glaring individual errors. After much hype and speculation, this afternoon we’ll have the first tangible evidence of what the ‘godfather of gegenpressing’ is going to bring to Manchester United and the Premier League.
There is no shortage of plots and sub-plots as far as Manchester United are concerned, then, and post-Roy Hodgson Crystal Palace are writing an interesting story of their own this season. Patrick Vieira’s fresh approach has energised the squad, with Conor Gallagher bossing the midfield at times, and it is not too long since they came to Manchester and bloodied the noses of Pep Guardiola and City . This, no matter what happens, is going to be worth watching.
Pre-match reading, team news and much more coming up.
Updated at 1.04pm GMT