Ralf Rangnick was in a joking mood after his new era at Manchester United got off to a winning start.
The 63-year-old praised Cristiano Ronaldo for his ballless work and joked that Fred couldn’t shoot with his right foot after his side won three vital points at Old Trafford.
A superb goal from the Brazilian gave Man United a 1-0 victory over the Eagles which then prompted a brilliant reaction from Rangnick after the game.
“I had to ask my assistant coach if it was Fred’s right foot,” Rangnick told the BBC.
“I thought he could only shoot with his left. I’m happy for him.
Rangnick was equally surprised that Fred turned out to be the match winner, with the Brazilian only finding the net on five more chances in 137 games for the Red Devils.
His team-mate Ronaldo, however, was unable to add to his brace against Arsenal – but his manager was still delighted with his contribution to the game.
“We wanted to play with two attackers, especially in a central position.
“By the way, Cristiano Ronaldo’s work without a ball, hat.”
On display in general, Rangnick says the way United have performed has exceeded their expectations.
“Overall I’m more than happy,” he said.
“I was positively surprised by the physical condition and the intensity.
“The first half hour was amazing. I felt it was an extremely high tempo, high intensity, always up front.
“The only thing missing in that first half hour was to score one or two, if not three goals.
“But it was clear that you can’t play the whole game, 90 minutes, with that kind of intensity.
“But still, even after that, we had control of the game. In the second half we started the game well and in the end we deserve to win.
“I am more than satisfied with the blank sheet. Nice goal with that weak right foot from Fred and like I said for me it was about taking control and we were in control most of the game.
“Maybe the last three or four minutes, of course, they took all the risks they could, we had to defend a few corners and free kicks but we did it in a very brave way.
“Harry (Maguire) being injured he comes back.” It was a perfect first game for us.