Three things Ralf Rangnick got right and one he got wrong in Young Boys draw

Manchester United ended their Champions League group stage campaign with a 1-1 draw against Young Boys as Ralf Rangnick used the game to assess his options.

United were already assured of their place in the last-16 and Rangnick used the opportunity to make 11 changes to the side which picked up a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in his first game in charge on Sunday.

Mason Greenwood opened the scoring with a stunning volley from Luke Shaw’s cross, but the lead didn’t last long.

Fabian Rieder ensured the Swiss side went in level at half-time, seizing on a mistake by Donny van de Beek to bend in a brilliant equaliser.

Both teams had chances to win it in the second half, but Anthony Elanga got not beat the visiting goalkeeper, while Young Boys shot wide on several occasions as they failed to replicate their 2-1 comeback win in Switzerland from September.

Rangnick used all five of his substitutes and will have learned a lot about his United squad following an interesting night at Old Trafford.

Here are the three things that went right for him – and one which could have gone better.

Reinstating Greenwood

After scoring three goals in his first three games of the season, Greenwood had just begun to go off the boil for United in the final stages of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign.

The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo was also going to affect Greenwood's game time, but one goal in 12 matches since his brilliant start in August was a minor concern.

The 20-year-old striker came off the bench and assisted the first of the Rangnick era for Fred against Crystal Palace and was rewarded with a start.

Greenwood’s innate finishing ability had perhaps been slightly forgotten over the past few barren months, but he quickly reminded us all why he’s so highly rated.

Shaw’s cross was slightly behind him, so Greenwood had to improvise, swivelling his body to volley into the bottom corner. It was a goal of pure beauty.

Giving the kids a chance

This was the perfect opportunity for Rangnick to take a look at some of the fringe players in his squad – and he certainly took it.

Amad and Elanga were the fortunate ones, with the teenagers given starts on either wing.

Both have reputations at United, but for differing reasons. Amad already has a burden of expectation, having joined the club for a fee which could reach £37million from Atalanta in January.

Elanga, meanwhile, has a lot of hype around him due to consistent performances for the club’s Under-23 side and having netted seven goals in eight appearances for Sweden’s Under-21s.

Amad had a good chance to make his mark in the first half, but dwelt on the ball for too long before failing to find Jesse Lingard with a square pass.

Elanga was bright and nearly set up a United goal just after the break with a searching cross and could have scored when played through on goal, but saw his shot saved.

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Freeing Van de Beek

With 11 changes being made Rangnick had little option but to play Donny van de Beek – and it did not go to plan for him.

The Dutchman has been an enigma ever since joining from Ajax last summer, with the reasons behind his prolonged benching unclear.

He was freed by Rangnick for this game, starting alongside Juan Mata in central midfield. It was a mixed performance for Van de Beek, containing plenty of sprints as he enthusiastically took to the pressing game, but also a sloppy mistake.

Rieder’s goal was an eye-catching and unstoppable strike into the top corner before half-time, but it was entirely avoidable.

Van de Beek gave the ball away on the edge of the box while trying to find Aaron Wan-Bissaka, allowing Rieder the space to bend in a stunner.

Experience for next generation

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Rangnick had already shown his desire to bring through the next generation at United by calling up a handful of youngsters to first-team training.

And he showed that wasn’t an empty promise when naming his squad for this game. There were 11 players that have come through the United youth system in the 18 names, a good hit rate by any measurement.

While Elanga and Amad started, there were also substitute appearances for Teden Mengi and Shola Shoretire and, later on, Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal.

Academy graduates Matej Kovar and Bjorn Hardley were also involved, giving the supporters a clear idea of the next batch of players to get excited about.

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