Saturday, May 28

Rashford relives Man Utd top four challenge as Rangnick gamble pays off against West Ham

Manchester United 1-0 West Ham: Match Stats

Manchester United’s performance against West Ham on Saturday afternoon had certainly not been spectacular, but Ralf Rangnick couldn’t have cared less when Marcus Rashford’s winner came in with less than 30 seconds remaining.

For the hosts, it looked like it was going to be another one of those games to be filed in the ‘missed opportunity’ folder until the manager’s three replacements combined to secure the three points sending United into the top four for the first time since. . October.

Rangnick was criticized a week ago for not making the right changes in a 2-2 draw at Aston Villa, but this time his gamble paid off, with Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial creating the winner between them.

Still, there’s no denying that United’s attacking play is something to work on during the upcoming break.

They dominated the ball at Old Trafford but, despite all the talent they had up front, they struggled to test Alphonse Areola in West Ham’s goal, failing, along with West Ham, to register a single shot on target in The first half.

Cristiano Ronaldo complained twice to Mason Greenwood in the opening 10 minutes that the England international had not played him instead of shooting himself and again the Portuguese star showed a frustrated figure.

Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United Premier League 2021-22 GFX

But this time there was no punishment from Ronaldo. He was left on the court as Rangnick disposed of Fred and went all-out with his last two changeups with less than 10 minutes left.

When Rashford’s game-winning shot came in, the German celebrated wildly in his technical area, punching the air. His gamble had paid off.

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The victory makes it one defeat in 10 for Rangnick and the first time they have won back-to-back league games since he took over in early December.

It’s been an interesting six weeks since you took office. United have shown glimpses of improvement, and yet at other times, they appear to have regressed since the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

And while this predominantly toothless display might not have been in keeping with the United of yesteryear, the 93rd-minute winner definitely was.

The players will now have a week off and when they return Rangnick will try to ensure they use this result over a top-four opponent as a springboard for the rest of the season.

They need to start showing consistency, conviction and confidence in their game because their position remains dangerous.

They may now be fourth, but Tottenham (three) and Arsenal (two) have games to play despite being just two and three points behind Rangnick’s side respectively.

However, if United win the remaining match against third-placed Chelsea, they would be just three points behind third-placed Blues.

But there’s that big word again: ‘if’. United have already had plenty of opportunities to capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes this season and they didn’t take them.

However, credit where due. This time United took full advantage thanks to Rangnick’s bold move and that’s why the final whistle celebrations – in the stands and on the pitch – were so exciting.

Rangnick was congratulated by his staff, while the players celebrated with each other and with the fans, and even Ronaldo stayed to revel in the atmosphere instead of launching himself down the tunnel.

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This wasn’t just a great three-pointer for United. It was a total mood change and now Rangnick and his players have the responsibility to develop it.

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