Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick gives details of the instructions he gave players in the 4-0 loss to Brighton
Speaking after his side’s 4-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium last night (h/t Express), Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has revealed the instructions he gave his players and pointed out the flaws in his gameplan.
United put up one of their worst performances of the season against the Seagulls, hardly offering any fight against their opponents. The home team was in fine form yesterday, carving through the Red Devils’ defence easily and putting them to the sword, especially in the second half.
Rangnick revealed that he told his players to be as compact as possible to stop Brighton from playing through the lines, but they were unable to stop the south coast team. The German said that too much space was given to their opponents, and they were punished as a result.
“We were never in a position where we could stop them playing through our lines, We told the players be as compact as they could but we couldn’t stop it. I don’t think they ignored the gameplan but we weren’t able to stop them. We gave them too much space and if you do that against a technically good team like Brighton, you will get punished.”
Despite only going into the half-time break trailing by a single goal, the Manchester side failed to use that time to regroup and get their heads straight as Brighton blew them out of the water with three goals in the second period.
“It is a problem of energy and defending as a team”
Rangnick even made two attacking changes at the break to find an equaliser, bringing on Edinson Cavani and Fred. However, the Seagulls decided to make the most of the opportunity and scored early after the restart, before adding two more goals in nearly as many minutes later on.
The ex-RB Leipzig boss said that the flaw in his game plan was that it was a problem of energy and defending as a team, rather than a question of individual quality. He also warned the team that they need to show a different face in the final game of the season in order to qualify for the Europa League as it felt like the players were on a summer break.
“It is not a question of individual quality. We showed that in other games, when we beat Tottenham and West Ham at home and Leeds away. It is a problem of energy and defending as a team. We need to show a different face in the final game because we will need one or three points to make sure we qualify for the Europa League. At times today it looked like we were on the summer break and that is what we need to make up for against Crystal Palace.”
The result leaves the Old Trafford outfit in sixth place in the Premier League table, extinguishing all hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next term. As Rangnick said, only a Europa League spot is there to be won at the moment, and all focus needs to be shifted to that.
It will have surprised fans to realise that this was the same team that lined up against Brentford earlier in the week and won 3-0 at home. Perhaps, as the interim manager said, it was only a case of lack of energy and defending as a team that resulted in the heavy defeat last night.
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Another away trip to Crystal Palace now awaits the team, which will be the last game of the season. It will be important to not only end the campaign on a good note, but also ensure that the side qualifies for Europe.
Hopefully, we see a much-improved performance from the players against the Eagles in the coming weeks. The game plan came undone against Brighton last night, so extra work will need to be done on the training ground to make sure these instructions are followed properly.