After being confirmed as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s interim successor earlier this week, the German was restricted to a watching brief in the win over Arsenal before being granted a work permit to take the coaching reins today.
After the dark late days of the Solskjaer reign, United showed encouraging improvements during a three-game unbeaten streak under caretaker boss Michael Carrick, who has now left the club.
Visitors Crystal Palace have suffered back-to-back defeats against Aston Villa and Leeds, though did produce a notable scalp on their last visit to Manchester as goals from Wilfried Zaha and Conor Gallagher sealed a shock 2-0 win over City in October.
The Eagles can also take confidence from their recent record at the Theatre of Dreams, having won on their last two visits in the Premier League under Roy Hodgson.
Can Patrick Vieira continue that trend today?
Follow Manchester United vs Crystal Palace with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below!
Man United vs Crystal Palace latest news
GOAL! Fred breaks the deadlock for United
How to watch: Highlights on Match of the Day 2
Man United team news: Ronaldo fit to start
Crystal Palace team news: Andersen and McArthur still out
Prediction: Man United 1-1 Crystal Palace
15:56 , Matt Verri
Man United 1-0 Crystal Palace
Ralf Rangnick is off to a winning start! Fred with the winning goal, just as his side were getting frustrated after a below-par second-half display.
But United were impressive in the opening 45 minutes, and deserved the three points overall.
15:54 , Matt Verri
90+4 mins: Ronaldo plays it through and Greenwood has the whole Palace half to himself... NO. Referee brings it back for a high foot.
Palace piling on the pressure late on. But Mitchell then slices a pass out of play, and that could be that.
15:53 , Matt Verri
90+2 mins: Zaha hauled down by Lindelof, who is shown the yellow card. Free-kick comes to nothing.
Another ball looped into the box though, and De Gea was worried that was dropping into his net... tips it over the bar.
15:51 , Matt Verri
90 mins: United doing a good job of keeping the ball and taking the sting out of the game. Palace have barely had a touch the last few minutes.
Ronaldo tries to play Elanga through, but it’s intercepted. Five minutes added on.
15:49 , Matt Verri
88 mins: Deep ball into the box from the free-kick, after Van de Beek was fouled. Guaita palms it behind for a corner.
Telles to take... Maguire close, but Palace clear as Olise smashes it up the pitch.
15:46 , Matt Verri
86 mins: Van de Beek will get some minutes late on, as he comes on for Bruno Fernandes.
United don’t look like they have much intention of pushing for a second goal, happy to just sit back and hold what they have.
15:44 , Matt Verri
84 mins: Maguire still being patched up, after a nasty clash with Edouard. Looks like he’ll be ok to continue.
Olise on for Ayew.
15:43 , Matt Verri
82 mins: Maguire down in the box, with a head injury. Will kill a few more minutes for the home side.
That really was a brilliant finish from Fred. Not the most likely of sources for a goal, but they won’t care!
15:41 , Matt Verri
80 mins: Old Trafford is in fine voice now. McTominay brings down Edouard and is into the book, and Palace have a free-kick 35 yards out.
United still with plenty to do to hold on for this win.
GOAL! Man United 1-0 Crystal Palace | Fred 77’
15:38 , Matt Verri
AND UNITED HAVE THEIR GOAL!!
Mason Greenwood in the box, tries to find the room for a shot but he can’t. Lays it back to Fred, and he produces a lovely curling finish into the far corner. Brilliant goal.
15:36 , Matt Verri
76 mins: Elanga on for United, replacing Rashford. They’ve really struggled in the second half, but they’ve still go 15 minutes to try and find that goal.
15:36 , Matt Verri
75 mins: Palace should really be in front!
Tomkins wins the header from a corner, and it falls to Ayew at the far post. On the stretch, he somehow fires it across goal from a couple of yards! So, so close to the opening goal.
15:33 , Matt Verri
73 mins: Palace starting to think they might be able to steal the win, which would be their third victory at Old Trafford in a row.
Ayew fouled again and is demanding the yellow card is shown, but the referee waves away his protests.
15:31 , Matt Verri
70 mins: Rashford running at Clyne, but Ayew gets back well and they double up.
United keep the attack going though, with Mason Greenwood driving inside. Fernandes lays it back to him, and Greenwood scuffs an effort wide.
15:28 , Matt Verri
67 mins: United break, Fernandes pinging a ball over the top to Rashford. He knocks it inside Guehi and is then wrestled to the floor... not a very subtle foul.
Telles takes it from the tight angle. Real pace, and it clips off the top of the bar!
15:26 , Matt Verri
66 mins: Greenwood tries to press the Palace defence, but they get it clear. Ronaldo then thinks he’s played a good ball to Rashford, but the Englishman had already made a run in behind and it’s out of play.
Frustration building at Old Trafford. Edouard on for the visitors.
15:24 , Matt Verri
64 mins: United have done been anywhere near as dangerous in this half so far, Palace holding their own.
Visitors with a corner. Gallagher with an optimistic effort as the ball falls to him 25 yards out... off balance, and off target.
15:21 , Matt Verri
62 mins: Bad challenge from Dalot... overruns the ball with his touch, and goes flying into Mitchell with his foot raised. Just about avoids any serious contact, or that could have been disastrous for United. Just a free-kick.
Mason Greenwood on for the home side, with Jadon Sancho brought off.
15:19 , Matt Verri
60 mins: Sancho pokes it through to Rashford, too much on it but he does well to pressure Tomkins enough to earn the corner.
Fernandes takes it short, and eventually Sancho curls it in... straight out of play.
15:18 , Matt Verri
58 mins: Darren Fletcher in the United technical area, urging the team forward with Rangnick sitting down discussing tactics with another member of the backroom staff.
Sancho drives into the box, plays it into Rashford who takes too long to shoot and he gets crowded out.
15:15 , Matt Verri
56 mins: Decent ball from Gallagher, deep to the far post. Kouyate wins the header, tries to nod it back into the box and it’s deflected behind for a corner.
15:14 , Matt Verri
54 mins: United giving away a number of fouls at the moment, and there’s another one... this time in a really dangerous position.
Ball rolls free, and as Fred comes in, Ayew gets his body in the way and takes the contact. Free-kick Palace, 20 yards out.
15:13 , Matt Verri
53 mins: Fred fouls Benteke, who is down holding his head. He’ll have to go off and get some treatment.
Palace momentarily down to 10 men.
15:11 , Matt Verri
51 mins: Ball in and Ronaldo is waiting to head it in at the back post, but Guaita is out to punch away. McTominay then gives away the free-kick.
Ayew beats Telles and whips a ball in, but it’s straight at De Gea.
15:09 , Matt Verri
49 mins: Fernandes tries to single-handedly change that.
Cuts inside and then turns back to beat Gallagher. Has Dalot on the outside, but goes for goal from 30 yards out, and it’s well over the bar.
15:08 , Matt Verri
48 mins: Maguire with a nice switch across to Dalot, but United are forced to come back. Palace doing a good job of slowing them down early in the half, no real speed to the game yet.
15:06 , Matt Verri
46 mins: Fernandes very nearly in behind on the left already, but Mitchell gets back to take all the power off his cross.
Ayew then tries to break and find Benteke, but Lindelof intercepts.
15:05 , Matt Verri
No changes from either team at the break... second-half is up and running!
15:04 , Matt Verri
Players back out for the second-half, we will shortly be underway once again.
14:57 , Matt Verri
United had 66% of the ball in the opening 45 minutes, but only two of their 12 shots were on target. That’s the same number Palace managed from their five efforts.
Seven corners already for the home side, but Palace have defended them well.
14:49 , Matt Verri
Man United 0-0 Crystal Palace
United put the pressure on again at the end of the half, with Dalot curling an effort just wide, but Palace hold on to keep it goalless going into the break.
Plenty of promise from the home side, but they’ve been unable to find the goal their performance has deserved.
14:46 , Matt Verri
44 mins: Palace have been better these last 5-10 minutes, have put a halt to the onslaught that United were putting on their box.
11 shots for United so far, but none in the last 10 minutes.
14:43 , Matt Verri
41 mins: Zaha wins the free-kick after a challenge from Fernandes... the United man is furious about the decision.
Gallagher takes and Benteke loops a header towards goal. Cleared out to the edge of the box, where Tomkins has a big swing at it but makes no real contact.
14:42 , Matt Verri
40 mins: Telles has plenty of space on the left, and puts an early ball into the box. Ronaldo gets between the two centre-backs, but can’t divert it at goal.
Five minutes until half-time, and Palace will be delighted it’s still goalless.
14:40 , Matt Verri
38 mins: The visitors get out, and enjoy a bit of possession. Schlupp tries to play it to Zaha, but Maguire shrugs him off and wins it back.
Zaha then moves over to the right and tries to knock it past Telles, but the full-back is up to the task.
14:38 , Matt Verri
36 mins: Palace continue to go long whenever they can, trying to get a breather - ball has been in the Palace half for what feels like the vast majority of the half.
Fernandes again puts too much on the ball through to Rashford, and it will be a goal-kick.
14:35 , Matt Verri
33 mins: Sancho cuts inside and tries to curl an effort into the far corner, but it’s deflected for a corner.
Rashford then runs onto a ball over the top, but the offside flag does go up this time.
14:34 , Matt Verri
31 mins: Clyne into the book for a foul on Fred, really poor challenge. VAR check to see if it could be a red card, but they decide it doesn’t need to be more serious than a yellow.
14:32 , Matt Verri
30 mins: Palace have decided to stop playing out from the back for now, they weren’t dealing well with the press.
Fred with a dreadful ball in midfield, straight to Zaha. Fernandes and McTominay get round him quickly though, and give away the foul.
14:30 , Matt Verri
28 mins: Alex Telles in down the left time, and Gallagher boots his ball in behind for a corner.
Telles takes it, and Ronaldo’s header is blocked. He’s claiming handball, but nothing given. Fernandes floats the ball back in, but it’s over everyone and behind.
14:29 , Matt Verri
27 mins: Palace are hanging on for dear life.
Rashford played in down the left wing, and he gets to the byline. Cuts it back to Fernandes, and his effort is blocked. Falls to Ronaldo, but he’s just about crowded out.
McTominay then fires at goal from 20 yards, but Zaha flies in to block really well.
14:28 , Matt Verri
25 mins: Ball in to Ronaldo, he nods it down into the path of Fernandes. The midfielder runs onto it and strikes it from just outside the box, but it’s a weak effort and palmed away. Guaita should probably have held that.
14:26 , Matt Verri
23 mins: Tomkins with a brilliant block to head Fred’s effort wide. Pressure really starting to build now.
14:25 , Matt Verri
22 mins: Another ball over the top, and again the flag doesn’t go up. Great run from Rashford, and Lindelof finds him with the long ball.
Cuts inside, lays it off to Ronaldo, and his left-footed strike is comfortably saved.
14:24 , Matt Verri
21 mins: Kouyate loses it, and Palace aren’t coping very well with the pressure on them high up the pitch.
Telles and Sancho try to combine on the left, but the full-back flicks it out of play.
14:21 , Matt Verri
19 mins: Dalot works it onto his left foot and swings a cross into the box, and Ronaldo with the powerful header but it’s over the bar. Very decent effort, was almost on the edge of the box when he won that header.
It’s a 4-2-2-2 from United in the first 20 minutes, and they’ve looked dangerous.
14:20 , Matt Verri
18 mins: Fernandes plays the ball over the top, and Ronaldo brings it down his back to goal six yards out. Swivels and gets the shots away, but deflected over for a corner. Offside flag didn’t go up.
Kouyate flicks the corner away, with Ronaldo lurking behind him.
14:19 , Matt Verri
17 mins: Palace growing into the match, after a fast start from United. But Gallagher kicks it straight out of play under pressure, and the home side have a throw-in deep in Palace territory.
Rashford dummies a low cross into the box, and it’s very nearly into Ronaldo’s path. Just too much on it.
14:17 , Matt Verri
15 mins: Lindelof puts a cross behind, and Palace will have their first corner of the match.
Taken short, before Zaha sends the ball in. Tomkins fouls Lindelof, and that’s a United free-kick. Not a very well worked set-piece from Palace.
14:16 , Matt Verri
14 mins: It’s a really fluid front line for United - Ronaldo, Rashford and Sancho all swapping positions and drifting around the pitch.
Fernandes tries to clip a ball to the back post, but it’s floated straight into the arms of Guaita.
14:14 , Matt Verri
12 mins: A few players around this, but you’d imagine Ronaldo is going to tell all of them to get out of his way. Fernandes and Telles optimistically standing there.
It is Ronaldo... hammered over the bar. Didn’t get any dip on it.
14:13 , Matt Verri
11 mins: Sancho seeing plenty of the ball early on. He’s drifting into central positions when United have the ball.
Rashford drives inside and is sandwiched between two Palace players... free-kick. Great position this.
14:11 , Matt Verri
9 mins: First real sign of a Palace counter, and it’s nicely worked.
Zaha plays the one-two with Benteke, and gets it back 25 yards out. Curls an effort at goal, but it’s straight at De Gea.
14:10 , Matt Verri
7 mins: Big switch across to Ronaldo, who brings it down beautifully. Doesn’t really have numbers up with him though.
Tries a through ball to Rashford, but the Palace defence is there to intercept. United pressing really high out of possession, as you’d expect.
14:09 , Matt Verri
6 mins: United play it out well from the back, Fred keeping his composure under pressure and they beat the press.
Telles tries to run on to a pass on the left wing, but it’s just in front of him and rolls out for a throw-in.
14:06 , Matt Verri
4 mins: All United early on. Palace lose it high up the pitch, and the hosts can break. Sancho plays it into the box, but Gallagher cuts it out before it reaches Ronaldo. Corner.
Palace hack it away, but it’s not been a convincing start from the visitors.
14:05 , Matt Verri
3 mins: Rashford very nearly flies past Tomkins on the outside, but the Palace defender just about gets a toe in to put it behind. Ronaldo wants a penalty... he’s not going to get one.
Alex Telles lets fly from the edge of the box, but it’s wide.
14:03 , Matt Verri
1 min: Fred with a late challenge on Kouyate, who stays down for Palace. Referee played advantage but there wasn’t any.
Not a good tackle at all from the Brazilian. Palace midfielder is back up now.
14:02 , Matt Verri
We are underway at Old Trafford! First look of a Ralf Rangnick United side on the pitch.
Let’s see what the first 90 minutes under the new boss have in store...
13:57 , Matt Verri
It’s nearly time to get up and running at Old Trafford.
Players in the tunnel, kick-off just a few minutes away.
13:54 , Matt Verri
A win for United this afternoon would take them above Arsenal, before the Gunners face Everton tomorrow night. They could also leapfrog Tottenham, depending on their result against Norwich this afternoon.
Palace will be keen to get something from the match though - they sit in 11th, but just a point ahead of Leeds in 16th.
Some very cold looking players...
13:48 , Matt Verri
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) December 5, 2021
Warm-ups well underway
13:44 , Matt Verri
Zaha back at Old Trafford
13:31 , Matt Verri
Wilfried Zaha had a very brief spell at Old Trafford, eight years ago, before returning to Palace.
He scored twice on this ground last year, as Palace stunned United to beat them 3-1. It was the second season in a row that the visitors came away from Old Trafford with victory, after Patrick van Aanholt gave Palace a 2-1 win in the 93rd minute in 2019.
Can Patrick Vieira’s side make it three in a row?
Rangnick explains the team selection
13:18 , Matt Verri
United’s new boss has given his reasons for putting out an unchanged side this afternoon.
“The team won against Arsenal, they did well especially in the second half,” Rangnick said. “Since everyone was fully fit and recovered there was no reason to change the first 11.”
Jesse Lingard misses out on the squad after twisting his ankle in training, with Anthony Martial also picking up a knock.
13:16 , Matt Verri
A couple of changes for Palace, from the side that lost 1-0 to Leeds midweek after a stoppage-time penalty from Raphinha.
Nathaniel Clyne comes in to replace the suspended Joel Ward, with Christian Benteke preferred up front to Odsonne Edouard.
13:10 , Matt Verri
So Cristiano Ronaldo is fit, and he starts at Old Trafford this afternoon. Had been doubts over his fitness after he picked up a knock against Arsenal, and also questions over whether Rangnick would pick him anyway.
Well he starts for United, who are unchanged from their win over Arsenal.
CRYSTAL PALACE LINE-UP
13:02 , Matt Verri
Starting XI: Guaita, Clyne, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell, Kouyate, Schlupp, Gallagher, Ayew, Benteke, Zaha
Subs: Butland, Kelly, Riedewald, Milivojevic, Hughes, Eze, Olise, Mateta, Edouard
MAN UNITED LINE-UP
13:01 , Matt Verri
Starting XI: De Gea, Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Telles, Fred, McTominay, Fernandes, Rashford, Sancho, Ronaldo
Subs: Henderson, Bailly, Jones, Wan-Bissaka, Elanga, Matic, van de Beek, Mata, Greenwood
Team news on the way
12:52 , George Flood
We are less than 10 minutes away now from confirmation of Ralf Rangnick’s first team selection as Manchester United boss.
Rangnick open to long-term manager role
12:37 , George Flood
Rangnick has been given a contract at Manchester United until the end of the season, after which time he has agreed to take up an advisory role until 2024.
However, speaking at his first press conference on Friday, the former Schalke, Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig boss suggested he would be open to staying as manager.
“The people here have been very clear talking about a six-month role. We have never spoken about what happens in summer. I’m fully aware they might be looking for a new manager. If they will then speak with me about that we will see,” he said.
He added with a smile: “Maybe if they ask my opinion and everything goes well and we develop the team I might even make the same recommendation to the board that I did at Leipzig twice when I recommended it might be a good idea to keep working with me for one year.
“But this is all hypothetical. We cannot speak about that. For me now it’s about winning the next games.”
Vieira to be on touchline
12:17 , George Flood
Patrick Vieira is expected to be in the away dugout at Old Trafford today.
The Crystal Palace boss was unable to take training on Friday after having to leave to deal with an urgent family matter.
Assistant Osian Roberts faced the media instead, but Vieira did return to lead training yesterday and has travelled to Manchester.
Rangnick programme notes: I’m in the right place at the right time
12:07 , George Flood
Here’s what Ralf Rangnick has had to say in his programme notes ahead of today’s debut...
“It feels like I am in the right place at the right time. It has been an average season so far. The aim right now is to help the team control games more. We all want Manchester United to be performing successfully and playing in style.
“Right now, I am here because development is what needs to happen again. Nobody at the club is happy to be where we are in the Premier League table.
“I look at guys like Jadon Sancho, who I know from the Bundesliga, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, and I am very much looking forward to working with the entire squad and helping them all to make the most of their obvious talent.
“If you want to win a football match, you have to control it, so the aim right now is to help the team control games more. That means being more proactive with and without the ball.
“It is important to start winning games regularly in the short-term then step by step, build the team in the right direction beyond that. We want to train the players’ brains and encourage them to do the right things until they become second nature.”
Standard Sport prediction
11:51 , George Flood
With United getting to grips with what will surely be a radical new style of play, it seems reasonable to expect at least some kind of teething problems.
Palace, meanwhile, have been the masters of the draw this season, so that appears to be a likely outcome.
Crystal Palace team news - Andersen and McArthur likely to miss out
11:50 , George Flood
Crystal Palace, meanwhile, are likely to remain without Joachim Andersen and James McArthur this afternoon.
Nathan Ferguson is also still sidelined and Joel Ward serves a suspension.
Man United team news - Ronaldo a doubt?
11:44 , George Flood
Reports suggest that Cristiano Ronaldo could be a doubt for Ralf Rangnick’s first match in charge due to a knee injury.
United also remain without Raphael Varane, Paul Pogba and likely Edinson Cavani, while the likes of Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Nemanja Matic all face late fitness tests.
Man United predicted XI: De Dea, Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Telles, Fred, McTominay, Fernandes, Sancho, Ronaldo, Rashford
How to watch Man United vs Crystal Palace
11:41 , George Flood
This afternoon’s game is not being broadcast live on TV in the UK.
However, you can catch highlights on Match of the Day 2 from 10:30pm GMT tonight.
Welcome to Man United vs Crystal Palace LIVE coverage!
11:05 , George Flood
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage as a new era dawns for Manchester United.
Interim boss Ralf Rangnick is in the dugout for the first time this afternoon as Crystal Palace visit Old Trafford in the Premier League.
The German will be looking to quickly build on the improvements shown during Michael Carrick’s temporary stint in charge against an Eagles team that have suffered back-to-back defeats.
However, Palace are no strangers to a Manchester upset after stunning City at the Etihad in October and have won on each of their last two trips to this ground in the top-flight.
Stay tuned for match build-up, all the latest team news and live updates!