KEY POINTS

  • Michael Carrick denies claims that Ralf Rangnick influenced his lineup changes against Chelsea
  • Cristiano Ronaldo was dropped to the bench in favor of having high-pressure personnel on the field
  • It worked to perfection as they pulled out a 1-1 draw against the dominant English Premier League leaders

Manchester United interim manager Michael Carrick has responded to the claims put forward by Gary Neville regarding their lineup changes prior to facing Chelsea this past weekend.

The Sky Sports pundit tweeted his thoughts that incoming interim manager Ralf Rangnick told Carrick to have Ronaldo come off the bench in favor of a pressure-heavy midfield lineup, something that the German made popular thanks to his "gegenpressing" tactic.

Carrick denied Neville’s claims when asked about the lineup changes and revealed that he was more than pressured enough heading into the game.

"As of now, I haven't got any more news for you. I was purely focused on the game, there was enough in my head to prepare the boys for this. I'm sure I'll be updated and aware and see what happens in the next few days,” Carrick stated as quoted by Manchester Evening News.

Going into their match with Chelsea, there was a sense of worry among the Manchester United faithful as the English Premier League leaders were an extremely dominant team this season.

Carrick had Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford on the wings with Bruno Fernandes taking the false nine position that Ronaldo usually occupies.

The midfield had Fred, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay roaming around, while Alex Telles, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka responsible for the defense.

It was a highly-unusual look for Manchester United but it did work wonders for them in the second half.

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho had the ball bounced awkwardly off his foot after a clearance from the Red Devils and saw the ball land perfectly in favor of Jadon Sancho.

With a clear opportunity right ahead of him, Sancho took Edouard Mendy head-on and tucked the ball away, scoring his first-ever Premier League goal just days after his first goal for Manchester United in the victory over Villareal during their UEFA Champions League fixture.

However, an errant Wan-Bissaka challenge later turned into a penalty and Jorginho avenged himself by scoring from the spot to tie the game up.

A statement win over Chelsea would have been more favorable for the rejuvenated Red Devils, but they were more than happy to salvage a point to move them back up to the eighth place.

Manchester United was applying pressure all throughout the match, and it could be a sign of things to come for when Rangnick inevitably takes over the reins from Carrick soon.

The Red Devils can only hope that they can keep the momentum going as they welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford on Thursday, December 2.