He claimed that any tactical considerations of Manchester Utd’s first-half play against Atletico Madrid were meaningless since they were so bad.
After United’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona, Rangnick said he could still ‘not believe’ that the Red Devils lacked commitment and aggression against the Spanish champions, who took the lead in the seventh minute through Joao Felix’s header.
Victor Lindelof’s decision to play as a right-back for Manchester United was not rewarded by Atletico, as the Swede was replaced midway through the second half.
Rangnick recalled his half-time team talk: “Well, I told them this is just not enough.” Forget about game plans or tactical maneuvers and tactics; what matters is your conviction and presence on the pitch, and your belief in what you’re doing whether the other team has the ball or not. If the other team has the ball, so be it.”
ourselves have the keys to the kingdom. It’s the Champions League; this is simply not good enough.
In order to advance to the knockout stage, you must demonstrate that you are prepared to meet the challenges of the Champions League. Our performance level was enhanced with each substitute, and in the final 15 or 20 minutes we performed exactly as I had wanted us to play from of the outset.”
If Bruno Fernandes had not assisted Anthony Elanga’s equalizer, he would have been the first player in this season’s Champions League to have a goal and an assist in each of those games.
Rangnick was surprised by Fernandes’ shoddy handling of the ball despite the risk-taking nature of his play style.
As Rangnick noted, “we understand what a wonderful player Bruno is when he has the ball.” When we played the way we did in the first half, it was difficult for him as well. He also made quite a few mental mistakes, giveaways in first half that he usually doesn’t make.
“Control and periods of victory in a game are the most important factors in determining success. It was a one-sided contest in the first half since we had only a few moments of success.”