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United Derby: Rangnick’s reaction after Manchester City defeat

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick says Manchester United know they can hardly afford to drop any more points if the Reds are to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League by finishing in the Premier League’s top four.

Manchester City showed their quality in the second half of Sunday’s derby and a 4-1 defeat for United means the race for the top four is now an uphill struggle. Rangnick believes United still can beat rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to be in that leading quartet, but that the team will be taking it game-by-game.

The German coach also explained the tactical plan that United set out with which caused City problems in the first half.

A POSITIVE FIRST HALF

“I think it was a good first half, even the first 60 minutes were okay, but the first half was good. We had our moments, we could have scored one or two goals more in the first half. Whenever we were in possession of the ball, we showed that we could create problems for them, the same is true with our transitional moments, but, in the end, they scored two goals and we only scored one.

So at half-time, it was clear for us that we needed to try to score at least one if not two more goals, and once they scored the third one, which was a brilliant corner kick, we just have to admit that, it was difficult to defend it, then it was almost over.

This goal killed us off because then against a team like Manchester City, the best team in the world in possession of the world, if you then still try to chase the ball high up, then you take the risk to concede another two or three more goals.”

THE TACTICAL PLAN

“We had not that may strikers available today, the only one that we had on the bench was Marcus, who we brought on after 60 mins, so for us it was clear we have to have as many players on the pitch who get behind the ball and we make sure that we are as compact as we can possibly be.”

THE TOP-FOUR RACE

“I didn’t actually expect Arsenal to lose at Watford so for us it’s clear, if we still want to have a chance to finish fourth at the end of the season, we can almost not drop anymore points, and we also know that in those 10 games that we have to play, there are a few other difficult ones so let’s take it game by game.

For us, it’s important we keep developing the team, which we did in the last couple of months, and then make sure we can win the next two home games against Tottenham and against Atletico, two very important games for us to come.”

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