Ralf Rangnick says Man Utd derby defeat by Man City felt like a ‘funeral’ but is eyeing Champions League after Spurs winMarch 14, 2022
RALF RANGNICK felt like he had been at 'a funeral' after Manchester United’s derby demolition.
But a week on from the 4-1 mauling at the hands of Manchester City and he was celebrating a 3-2 win over Tottenham and looking forward to tomorrow’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Atletico Madrid.
With the tie at 1-1, the Red Devils have a good chance of making it through at Old Trafford after the euphoria of the Spurs victory.
Rangnick said: “This is what I also like about this club. On Sunday, I almost felt like we were at a funeral, that it was already dead and it was the end of the decade. I felt like it’s the worst team I ever coached.
“And after the win against Spurs we’re discussing about our chances to win the Champions League.
“Ask me that question should we reach the final, then you can ask me that question again.”
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Saturday’s win came courtesy of a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick and Rangnick has told the veteran he can be the ‘engine’ that drives United on to the end of the season in the quest for a top-four spot.
Rangnick said: “He is an important player with his reputation and the way he can influence the team.
“This is what I have been telling him since I arrived, that with a performance like this he can be one of the engines of the team.”
He was not just impressed with Ronaldo’s performance on the ball but off it.
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There have been questions as to whether the 37-year-old’s legs could carry him through a Rangnick pressing game but Saturday answered those.
The German interim boss said: “He made the difference for sure. Not only with the three goals he scored but also his work-rate when Tottenham were in possession.
“Let’s just hope he stays fit for the rest of the season and we see further games like this one from the whole team and also from Cristiano.”
Ronaldo’s performance came just a week after he was left out of the team for the derby against City.
He then complained of a hip problem and flew off home to Portugal.
His first training session since then was on Thursday but that was enough to convince Rangnick to play him.
He said: “His training session on Thursday was so good, that’s why I decided to play him from the start and not have him on the bench. I didn’t expect him to score three goals but I expected him to score.”
Ronaldo was not the only player to impress on an afternoon when the gloom was lifted around Old Trafford.
Jadon Sancho, 21, who cost United £73million from Borussia Dortmund, set up Ronaldo with a first-time pass for his second goal.
Rangnick said: “Jadon is now getting closer to the Jadon I’ve known from Germany. In the end, it’s all about game time and confidence.
“This is what he should be. The club paid quite a few pounds in order to lure him away. If you pay that amount of money for a player, he should perform at this kind of level.
“He told me it was a problem for him to get adjusted to the intensity and physicality of the Premier League. Now he has managed to do that.”
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