Ralf Rangnick was frustrated that Manchester United saved one of their best performances until his last game in the Old Trafford dugout, when Cristiano Ronaldo shone again in the win against Brentford.
Against a backdrop of fan anger against the Glazer family, the final home game of a miserable season ended in a comfortable 3-0 win over the Thomas Frank’s Bees.
Bruno Fernandes, Ronaldo and Raphael Varane scored for United in a night Rangnick wished he could have enjoyed more often after succeeding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer late last year.
The interim manager’s inability to pull a unified mindset from the squad means they will miss out on Champions League qualification and he admitted he was disappointed they didn’t play like this more often.
“I think we probably put in one of our best performances in possession tonight in the last six months,” said Rangnick.
“We were in control of the game for the most part. We still had a few gaps defensively, but overall I was happy with the performance we put in tonight.
“The season isn’t over yet, we still have two away games at Brighton and Crystal Palace.
“We have to divide (my time) into different parts. We had very good games, very good performances at the beginning and in between the home games against West Ham, Tottenham, away in Leeds.
“But what we lacked in general was consistency. At times we had trouble scoring goals. We scored three goals today, we scored four goals against Leeds.
“In the beginning it was important to stabilize the team and help them not concede so many goals, but what was missing was consistency.
“We also lost some important players. That didn’t help us either.
“Of course I’m not entirely satisfied with these six months. I would have expected us to qualify for the Champions League. That was the goal we had, but in the end we just weren’t consistent enough.”
Old Trafford bid farewell to Rangnick and midfielder Nemanja Matic on Monday, with Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani also joining ahead of their expected summer departures.
Rangnick admits he made a mistake in handing Mata his first league start of the season just on Monday – a night that saw his veteran Ronaldo shine in yet another man-of-the-match show.
The 37-year-old has scored 18 league goals this season and his future will be of great interest this summer as Erik ten Hag prepares to take over.
“The way he played again tonight, not only because he scored a goal, he also won the penalty, he also helped defensively tonight,” said Rangnick.
“So why wouldn’t he be a player who could still be part of the squad and help the team?
“That’s a question you have to ask Erik when he’s here and of course it’s also important how Cristiano sees his role and his position.”
Brentford opponent Frank left Old Trafford frustrated after not having done better at Song United.
“I’m a bit disappointed because I think we could have played better, especially in the first half,” he said.
“Actually, I think we start fantastically, the first five minutes, then I felt like United were more in the game without creating chance after chance.
“They had a top moment for the first goal so of course they have to be credited for that situation but we should have done better.
“They didn’t really do much, but I know they were a little bit on the ball in the first half.
“I felt that we weren’t brave enough in the high pressure, we should be more aggressive and cooler on the ball. In spells we were too hectic.
“But OK, fair play towards Man United. I think they put in a very high performance in the first half – some of their better performance that I’ve seen so far, so they did well.
“The second half is a lot more of the Brentford team I want to see, a lot more front footed.
“We had momentum with chances and half-chances and we were definitely up and then we make a stupid mistake for the penalty, an unnecessary mistake and of course that ended the game I’d say.
“If you want to win here at Old Trafford, we can’t take a penalty and concede from a set piece.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/ralf-rangnick-feels-win-over-brentford-was-among-best-man-utd-displays-under-him-41608445.html Ralf Rangnick thinks the win over Brentford was among Man Utd’s best performances under him