Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick admits Man Utd defence is nowhere near 'top club level'

Tom Gott
Rangnick is not impressed with United's defence
Rangnick is not impressed with United's defence / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages
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Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has voiced his frustration towards the team's defence after the Red Devils scraped a 3-2 victory over relegation strugglers Norwich.

United went two goals up through Cristiano Ronaldo but ended up being pegged back as Kieran Dowell and Teemu Pukki struck in quick succession either side of half-time, and the team needed to rely on some excellent saves from David de Gea to stop them from falling behind.

In the end, it was Ronaldo who netted the final goal of the game as his free kick sealed a 3-2 victory, but after the game, Rangnick did not hold back in his damning assessment of the team's defending.

"I told the team that we were playing a very offensive lineup, with Paul Pogba, with Bruno [Fernandes] and Jesse [Lingard] in midfield," Rangnick began. "I think this is a very offensive formation and lineup, and that's why I told them that it is very important that we play with a defensive mindset, that everyone has to think like a defensive midfielder.

"If you look at the two goals we conceded, especially the first one, we had the ball on the sidelines but we just weren't physical enough. As soon as there is body contact, we have to be more physical, more aggressive. But we weren't, and for me, we were too easy. We are probably the only team in the league who concedes goals like this.

"If I just think about the games since I arrived, how many games we have been 1-0 or 2-0 up and in the end only got a point - it's easily six, eight points that we should have. But it brings us back to the same situation, that we just didn't defend well enough.

"If you want to defend properly in this league, where every team has its individual weapons on the pitch, you just have to defend. You have to be physical, you shouldn't just allow them to go past and through our lines as easy as that. That's what this team doesn't do well enough.

He added: "The reason why the club contacted me in November was the fact they just conceded too many goals too easily. We reduced the number of goals conceded but the way we defend is still not the standard that we need in order to be a top-four club."

90min reported earlier this month that United are looking to sign a new centre-back this summer and have sent scouts to update reports on Villarreal's Pau Torres, who was their second choice last year before Raphael Varane joined the club.

United will listen to offers for Eric Bailly and Phil Jones, and they would not stand in the way of Victor Lindelof's departure if the right bid arrived.

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