‘Causing us problems’: Ralf Rangnick says two Chelsea players were a massive threat last night

Ralf Rangnick admitted that a specific Chelsea partnership forced him into making a tactical change yesterday.

Speaking after the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, the Manchester United manager revealed that Reece James and Mason Mount made him bring on an extra defender to cope with their combination.

For large chunks of the fixture, James and Mount had the freedom of the Theatre of Dreams, a nightmare scenario for those trying to stop them.

Mount regularly drifted into pockets between the midfield and defence, leaving the right channel wide open for his compatriot to exploit.

Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Marcos Alonso met James’ cross perfectly with 60 minutes on the clock, putting Chelsea into a lead their pressure deserved.

But despite conceding just moments later, the duo wearing blue continued to threaten and looked the most likely source of a winner.

“I decided to bring on Phil Jones as they were causing us problems on their right side with Reece James and Mason Mount, so it was difficult for Alex Telles to get hold of that,” confessed Rangnick.

Manchester United’s attempts to halt the Chelsea combo

United shifted to a back five following the introduction of Jones with just over ten minutes of the contest remaining.

This didn’t do too much in the way of preventing Mount and James from probing their left flank.

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

The latter was a whisker away from restoring Chelsea’s advantage, but his curling strike could only hit the woodwork.

However, the Red Devils did ultimately avoid a third successive Premier League defeat.

An outcome that could’ve been entirely different had James’ effort rippled the net rather than twang the post.

It is the near margins that have not gone the way of the Champions League holders in recent matches.

Chances have come and gone for Chelsea

Uncharacteristic mistakes cost Chelsea dearly against Real Madrid and Arsenal.

They almost threw away another three points at home to West Ham United last weekend, following Jorginho’s awful penalty.

Yesterday’s result will go down again as a missed opportunity.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

United were there for the taking, cut open and bleeding like a dying animal.

Unfortunately, the Blues could not get their jaws properly into the prey, letting it escape with limbs still intact.

Chelsea must be more ruthless on Sunday when they face Frank Lampard’s Everton at Goodison Park.

Talk about a wounded beast…

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.