05 Th2 2022 | 04:44
The Return of Pogba
Ralf Rangnick has carefully managed many of Man Utd’s injury problems so far, but the German has brought Paul Pogba back quickly. Pogba was played in a 4-3-3 as a number eight alongside Bruno Fernandes and won a penalty that Man Utd should have opened in the 18th minute.
The Frenchman did well in attack, but still lacked the concentration he needed to lose the ball so easily in the middle of the pitch, and had to foul only to get a yellow card. He showed obvious fatigue in the second half before being replaced by Fred. Anyway, the return of Pogba is very important at this stage, when Man Utd is in the top 4 race which is very fierce.
Jadon Sancho had a tough first season back in England. Signed from Borussia Dortmund for £73m, the fact that he has scored just one Premier League goal so far is not good enough.
Anyway, Sancho has started playing well under Rangnick. Before Middlesbrough, he also got a goal. With Mason Greenwood out, Amad and Anthony Martial gone on loan, Man Utd need more at Sancho and the former Dortmund star is showing promise.
Ronaldo made a rare mistake
This week, Reds target Declan Rice said he would trust Ronaldo more than any other player when it comes to penalties. Ronaldo was given the first chance at Old Trafford, but missed. This is the rare time he failed to make a shot 11m.
After that, CR7 showed determination to score throughout the game, making some smart, but still ungainly runs. Man Utd’s failure to take advantage of the opportunity came back to haunt them in the second half…
Red Devil self-harm
The match should have been under Man Utd’s control, before Middlesbrough really caught on. Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford were among those who missed the chance to decide the match. Coach Ralf Rangnick has a reason to insist that his team should win 3-0 from the first half. After that, Man Utd was equalized by a controversial counter-attack. And was eliminated when losing in the ‘gunfight’ series. They can only blame themselves.
Before tonight, the Reds’ best performance was at home against Leeds and Newcastle, but in both of those games they started well before being tied 1-1. Indeed, Rangnick’s students lacked the coldness in finishing and were too open-minded in counter-attacking.
Man Utd empty-handed again?
Man Utd seemed to have secured the ticket to continue in the FA Cup, but they lost to Middlesbrough, and lost the chance to win the most realistic title of the season. In the Premier League, the Red Devils only dare to aim for the top 4, while in the Champions League, only a miracle happens to help them win the title.
If empty-handed this season, Man Utd will have 5 consecutive seasons without a title. It is disappointing, compared to the level of the Old Trafford team, compared to what they have spent.
Rangnick still has a lot of work to do to solve Man Utd’s problems…