Manchester United’s embarrassing 0-2 defeat to strugglers West Ham on Sunday was a wake up call for the club’s supporters. After years of consistent mediocrity, this result finally showed that Jose Mourinho is trying his best and things are looking much better now than they were six months ago in spite of conceding two sloppy goals.
The “man u match today” is a football match that was played on the weekend of the 18th and 19th of January 2019. Man United won over West Ham by 1-0, but it was a slow and painful progress for the team.
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — When Marcus Rashford tapped home Edinson Cavani’s cross from two yards three minutes into stoppage time to win a 1-0 victory against West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday, Ralf Rangnick rejoiced as if he had just won the Champions League for Manchester United.
As the players on the field hurried to celebrate Rashford after his second goal in two games, Man United’s interim manager raised both arms in the air and pounded the air repeatedly. Rangnick was giddy because his team had just transformed a disappointing draw into a potentially important win, lifting United over West Ham and back into the top four for the first time since October 2.
But the man in charge of bringing the club back together after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired in November had another cause to enjoy Rashford’s goal: for the second game in a row, the former RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim coach had made a critical decision with his substitutes and got it right.
Rangnick’s substitution of Cristiano Ronaldo for Marcus Rashford at Brentford on Wednesday elicited a heated, almost spiteful response from the 36-year-old. Six minutes later, Rashford scored United’s third goal in a 3-1 victory, putting the game out of reach and allowing Rangnick to explain to Ronaldo, in front of the cameras, why he was correct to make the switch, despite the former Real Madrid forward’s stature as a football legend.
And, as United labored away against David Moyes’ West Ham, Rangnick took the risk of going all-out assault in the dying minutes. Rangnick put on Cavani and Anthony Martial for Fred and Mason Greenwood in the 82nd minute after replacing Anthony Elanga with Rashford on 62 minutes, and directed United to play in a 4-2-4 configuration. It was victory or bust, and it nearly went bust on 87 minutes when Tomas Soucek headed inches wide, but Rangnick’s risk paid off when all four strikers linked up in the same move for Rashford to score the winner.
“Those are the finest kinds of victories,” Rangnick added, “when the opposing team doesn’t have time to respond.” “In the final 15 minutes, we had to take some chances, but in the end, I wanted to show the guys that this game is about winning, and I’m more than delighted we scored the goal in the last minute.”
When a manager is seeking to acquire the confidence of a fresh set of players, moments like this are crucial. If you take a chance and it backfires, the players will mistrust your judgment, but if it pays off, it will undoubtedly help to dispel any doubts that may have arisen in the locker room.
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For example, Ronaldo has only scored two goals in seven games under Rangnick, one of which was a penalty. He started against West Ham in a center position but had little impact on the game. His primary contribution was heading the ball at the near post while defending corners, but it was not the reason Ronaldo returned to the club last summer.
A strong defense, on the other hand, is essential for every successful football club. Once such foundations are in place, a team may charge forward and attack, confident in the knowledge that they can leave holes in the back. Man United aren’t quite there yet, but they’re getting there, and Rangnick can move on to the international break knowing that his club has won consecutive games for the first time since he took over in December.
The fight for fourth place is tight, with just four points separating Man United, West Ham, Arsenal, Spurs, and Wolves, but Man United have a run of games in February that will allow them to break away from some of their opponents. They play Burnley, Southampton, Leeds, and Watford next month before facing Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool in March, but United are in a stronger position than before Rangnick came, so there are reasons to be optimistic.
And, no matter how lackluster the effort, everything looks better after a stoppage-time triumph.
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The “manchester united schedule” is a football club that has made slow and painful progress. After their win over West Ham, it’s clear that the team is starting to head in the right direction.
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