Recall that on April 16, Norwich City visited Old Trafford for a Premier League game that Manchester United were expected to win. Fortunately, Cristiano Ronaldo was on top of his game as he scored two goals in the first half to give United a 2-0 lead.
Before the end of the first half, Norwich City were able to pull one goal back. To the dismay of Manchester United fans, Norwich City equalized in the 52nd minute.
It was until the 76th minute that Cristiano Ronaldo was able to score the winner for Manchester United to record his 60th hat-trick in his football career.
Ahead of the Manchester United Premier League game against Liverpool scheduled to kick off at 20:00 on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, coach Ralf Rangnick argued that the two goals Norwich City scored against United on Saturday were too easy.
Rangnick stressed that he was not happy with his team’s performance especially when his players were not on the ball, noting that he expected his players to defend more smartly.
“If you look at the two goals we conceded, especially the first one, we had the ball on the sideline but we were just not physical enough,” the German coach said. “As soon as there is body contact we have to be more physical, more aggressive, but we weren’t.
“It was, for me, too easy, and that’s why we are probably the only team in the league who concedes goals like this…
“We should have defended more smartly and not allowed them to have two or three transitional moments with playing three versus two or four versus two. To be honest, Norwich could have scored earlier than we did concede the first goal. We could have conceded a goal earlier than that and that’s why I’m not really happy with our performance when we did not have the ball.
Manchester United’s defensive woes in the 2021-2022 season
So far in the 2021-2022 season, Manchester United have conceded a whopping 44 goals in 32 league games. While they have managed to score just 52 goals in the league so far.
Among the top seven clubs on the league table, Manchester United which are currently occupying the 5th spot with 54 points in 32 games have conceded the highest number of goals. The club closest to them is West Ham United which have conceded 43 goals in 33 league games this season.
Coach Ralf Rangnick who is trying to push Manchester United to finish in the Premier League top four this season lamented about how the club’s poor defending has cost the club good points that should have helped the team to finish stronger in this season’s Premier League campaign.
Rangnick argued that the only way to defend properly in the Premier League is to be physical, noting that his team has not been doing enough.
According to the coach, if Manchester United’s goalkeeper David de Gea had not stepped up his game in the Premier League match against Norwich City, the 20th placed club would have led 3-2 before Cristiano Ronaldo’s 76th-minute winner.
“If I just think about the games since I arrived, how many games we have been 1-0 and 2-0 up and in the end only got a point”, Ralf Rangnick said. “I mean, this is easily six, eight points that we should have easily have had more. But this brings us back to the same situation that we just didn’t defend well enough in moments like this. And [had it not been for] David de Gea with a brilliant save, we could have been 3-2 down and then probably even have lost the game and this should not happen.
“If you want to defend properly in this league, you just have to be physical, you shouldn’t just allow them to go past ourselves and through our lines like that. That’s what this team doesn’t do well enough, and that’s why we’re still mathematically in the race but we should have easily had eight points more.”
“You just have to defend!” 😤— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 17, 2022
Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has criticized his team’s lack of physicality admitting Saturday’s performance won’t be enough against Liverpool on Tuesday…pic.twitter.com/dgeaspg1k4
Ralf Rangnick believes if Manchester United play against Liverpool as they played against Norwich City, United will be punished
If Manchester United want to stand a chance of qualifying for a UEFA Champions League spot, they need to beat Liverpool at Anfield stadium on Tuesday.
But coach Ralf Rangnick has insisted that if Manchester United play against Liverpool as they played against Norwich City, Liverpool which are currently sitting on the second spot with 73 points in 31 games will punish United.
The coach referred to how Liverpool knocked out Manchester City from the FA Cup semi-final round on Saturday, April 16 with a resounding 3-2 victory.
“We all know what team we’re playing on Tuesday”, coach Rangnick noted ahead of the Premier League clash with Liverpool.
“They won against Man City today (Saturday, April 16), they’re in the FA Cup final. In the end, they might have the chance to win four trophies this season.
“If we play like we played today, it will be very, very difficult to get even a point out of this game and this is what we have to be realistically aware of.
“So, we need to raise our level and standard. Probably Fred and Scott (McTominay) will not be back, and Raphael Varane will also be in a tight race for the game on Tuesday. So far he hasn’t trained with the team.
“We have to be aware that the players that we had available today will drive to Liverpool and just get anything out of that game.
“If possible we need three points. That can happen in football, it has happened before.
“But we have to be realistic, we have to play a lot better if Liverpool is in possession of the ball than we did today.”
🗣️ “Six or seven of those players used to be my players.”— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 18, 2022
Ralf Rangnick admits he hasn’t been surprised by the quality of the Liverpool squad because of the players recruited from his former clubs 👇 pic.twitter.com/Njiy25R4gp