Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick was happy with Donny van de Beek’s cameo for their FA Cup win against Aston Villa.
Van de Beek, a regular figure on the United bench since his £40m arrival from Ajax in 2020, was once again a substitute but did come on in the 72nd minute for Edinson Cavani, with United 1-0 up but under pressure.
Yet from then on, a change of shape aided by the Holland international’s introduction saw United see out the game relatively comfortably.
Rangnick said afterwards: “From the very moment when we changed to a diamond in the last 20 minutes, when Donny came on, from then on we controlled the game, we had our counter-attack situations.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t take the right decisions in the final third, so if we had done that we could and should have scored the second goal.
“But it’s not so easy to control the centre of the pitch and at the same time have our wing players involved and play with at least one central striker.
“For us, on the bench, that was a difficult job to find out how we could do that. In the end, we decided to take off Edi and had a diamond in midfield and have two fast wingers as the only strikers on the pitch.”