Ralf Rangnick of Manchester United laments about the poor performance of his players after nearly losing to relegation threatened Newcastle United

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The coach of Manchester United, Ralf Rangnick tested the bitter side of the Premier League on Monday, December 27, when his team confronted relegation-threatened Newcastle United that have been trying to bounce back to winning ways for weeks.

Before the meeting between Manchester United and Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Monday, Newcastle United had recorded 10 defeats, 7 draws, and just a win in 18 Premier League games. Hence, the game was expected to be a walkover for rejuvenated Manchester United.

Recall that since coach Ralf Rangnick was named the interim coach of Manchester United, the club has been enjoying consistent wins in the Premier League. Under his watch, Manchester United have recorded two Premier League wins, his draw against Newcastle United on Monday was his first league draw as the coach of the Red Devils.

It was almost a defeat for Manchester United that could not completely take charge of the game despite enjoying 69 percent of the ball possession.

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Despite having Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, and Bruno Fernandes in the starting lineup, Manchester United managed to record just 4 shots on target.

On the other hand, relegation-threatened Newcastle United which have Allan Saint-Maximin as their standout forward recorded 8 shots on target out of a total of 13 shots.

Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United in action against Scott Mc Tominay of Manchester United.
Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United in action against Scott Mc Tominay of Manchester United.

The home team took the lead as early as the 7th minute of the game after Manchester United lost possession to Allan Saint-Maximin who took advantage of the mistake to score his 10th Premier League goal.

With all the superstar forwards on the pitch, Manchester United were not able to respond to the goal until the last quarter of the game. It took Edison Cavani who was introduced into the game in the 46th minute in place of Mason Greenwood to score the equalizer in the 71st minute.

Ralf Rangnick of Manchester United laments about the poor performance of his players after nearly losing to relegation threatened Newcastle United
Edison Cavani celebrates his goal with Alex Telles.

After the game, coach Ralf Rangnick admitted that his team was not in control of the game, adding that his players were not at their best in terms of winning the ball.

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“We didn’t control the game apart from a few moments. It’s all about energy, physicality, and who wins the second ball. In all those areas we weren’t at our best”, the German tactician told Sky Sports after the 1-1 draw with Newcastle United.

“You have to be ready and able to win those direct duels and this was not that often the case. When we were in possession we had too many giveaways and even with the goal, that doesn’t make things easy.

“Today was not a question of body language, it was a question of body physicality. If you want to be competitive here you have to get physical and this was not the case in many parts of the game.

“Our biggest problem was the mistakes we made. Even when we scored the equalizer we were not really controlling the game and making the right decisions.

“I didn’t like the performance at all.”

The 1-1 draw has helped Newcastle United to move to the 19th spot on the league table with 11 points in 19 games. While Manchester United are still occupying the 7th spot with 28 points in 17 games.

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