Ralf Rangnick remains silent on Austria after United’s ‘lucky’ draw with Chelsea

Ralf Rangnick declined to discuss the possibility of becoming Austria’s new head coach after the caretaker manager admitted Manchester United were “lucky” to achieve a draw with Chelsea.

On a night when Old Trafford saw further protests over Glazer family ownership, the stuttering Red Devils somehow managed to end the first half without conceding, despite the dominance of Thomas Tuchel’s blues.

Marcos Alonso’s 60th-minute volley finally gave Chelsea a deserved lead, only for Cristiano Ronaldo to spare United’s blush within two minutes as United held to a barely deserved 1-1 draw.

“We were lucky in the first half,” said Rangnick. “We needed some great saves from David (De Gea) again and some last-minute tackles.

“I thought we were better in the second half. We had more moments when we were able to win the ball, although we then conceded the goal after 60 minutes.

“I think we showed a good reaction to that goal, scored a brilliant goal ourselves, with a great assist from Nemanja (Matic) and a great finish from Cristiano.

“I think it was an open game in the last 20 minutes. You could have scored. We were lucky when Reece James just hit the post.

“But we also had our moments. With Cristiano we could have scored another goal or two but I think overall we have to admit that we were lucky to get that point.

“But the reaction we showed in the second half was good.

“In terms of attitude, there was no reason to blame anyone, but you could still tell that, especially when a team like Chelsea is in possession of the ball, we are still a long way from controlling the game.”

Ronaldo has scored eight of United’s last nine goals in all competitions, underscoring the over-reliance on the veteran star, with Rangnick saying “there needs to be a focus on bringing in some new strikers”.


Cristiano Ronaldo scored the equalizer for Manchester United (Martin Rickett/PA)

The 63-year-old could help shape such decisions if he moves into an advisory role at the end of the season and Ajax coach Erik ten Hag steps in as the new permanent coach.

Rangnick could balance his role with a job with the national team as the PA news agency hears he is considering an offer to become Austria’s head coach.

Asked if he accepted the job, he said: “Tonight is about our game against Chelsea and I don’t want to talk about anything else.

“Please accept that and respect that, so please only ask questions about today’s game.”

Pressed for the Austria role, Rangnick said: “No (I won’t comment on that). Let’s talk about the game.

“What I can tell you and confirm is that I will definitely be continuing my end-of-season advisory role for the next two years and I’m really looking forward to that.

“We haven’t spoken, Erik and I, but we have spoken to the board about the content and profile of the position.

“The content of that consulting role that we talked about. So I can now confirm that I will definitely continue doing that at the end of the season.”


Marcos Alonso opened the scoring for Chelsea (Martin Rickett/PA)

While Rangnick looked relieved after Thursday’s draw, Chelsea manager Tuchel was understandably frustrated.

Chelsea didn’t score despite having 11 shots in a one-sided opening period of 45 minutes and blew their lead right after Alonso’s second-half volley.

“A little bit[frustrated not to have won],” he said with a smile. “We were very strong on and off the ball, very dominant on the ball, very aggressive on the ball.

“A lot of ball wins, a lot of deliveries, a lot of half-chances, a lot of space that we found around the penalty area.

“But unfortunately we lacked precision in the penalty area, a bit of determination to finish it, very early in the game but also throughout the game.

“Unfortunately, once we had it, we gave it away within a minute, so it started all over again.

“But the reaction was good again, so I’m very happy with the performance because it was a huge team effort.

“I think we showed what it takes to win on a big stage, in a big stadium, like on the focus level and the physical effort level.

“We played with a huge team performance with a lot of quality but unfortunately we don’t have what we deserved so we have to live with a point.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/ralf-rangnick-silent-on-austria-talk-after-fortunate-united-draw-with-chelsea-41598554.html Ralf Rangnick remains silent on Austria after United’s ‘lucky’ draw with Chelsea

Fry Electronics Team

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