Ralf Rangnick

Ralf Rangnick insists Man Utd must not drop any more points in top 4 race

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
A tough day for Rangnick
A tough day for Rangnick / 90min

Ralf Rangnick has insisted that Man Utd cannot afford to drop anymore points if they are to secure a top-four finish this season.

United were dealt another blow in what has been a torrid season on Sunday, when Manchester City comfortably beat them 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

It means that they end the weekend fifth in the Premier League table, one point behind Arsenal in fourth who have an ominous three games in hand.

Rangnick's players were blasted by Sky Sports pundits Roy Keane and Gary Neville after the game and the German admitted that the defeat leaves in a tricky position.

"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," he said.

"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."

Rangnick sprung a surprise in his team selection, picking a starting XI without a recognised striker due to the absences of Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo through injury.

With Marcus Rashford omitted, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes spearheaded a hard-pressing 4-2-4 with the system causing City some issues early on.

"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," Rangnick explained.

He added: "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."

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