Rangnick plays down ‘normal’ Ronaldo anger, praises Elanga

Lewis Oldham
Rangnick alongside Ronaldo

Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo’s anger at being substituted is “normal”.

The Red Devils were not at their best against Brentford on Wednesday night. Thomas Frank’s side caused United a lot of problems and they should have gone into the break ahead.

The hosts did not make the most of their chances and Man Utd punished them for that.

Rangnick proves his worth to hot and freezing cold Man Utd

Anthony Elanga netted his first Premier League goal of the season to make it 1-0. Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford also scored in the second half.

Cristiano Ronaldo was subbed off when it was 2-0 and he expressed his dismay at the decision on the sidelines.

Ivan Toney pulled one back for Brentford late on but United hung onto their lead to win 3-1. 

As quoted by BBC Sport, Rangnick said post-match that United improved after he “changed a few things”:

“It was not a strong conversation [at half time], but obviously we had to change a few things.

“The first half was not good in all aspects of the game. In the second half, we were more urgent. We attacked higher up the pitch and took the right decisions in the counter attack and we scored, which is the big difference.

“Anthony Elanga followed up on the performance he showed at Villa Park. He was outstanding in the second half, put in a lot of work against the ball and then he scored the first goal.

“But I am happy for all our young players tonight – three young English goalscorers.”

On David de Gea: “He’s been doing that the last couple of weeks – brilliant saves in the first half. He is one of the best keepers in the world, I would say.”

On Ronaldo’s reaction to being substituted: “That is normal – a striker wants to score – but he has come back from a little injury and it was important to remember we have got another game coming up.

“Also after what happened at Villa Park, we had to defend the lead this time and it was important that we went back to a back five and while we didn’t keep the clean sheet it was important to make sure nothing else happened.”

Elanga added after the game that United “stepped it up” in the second half:

“We played our best football in the second half. We really stepped it up.

“The first goal lifted the team, then the second and third goal came and it got better.

On his goal: “The first touch set it up. I could see the keeper coming and I just had to head it in.

“My aim is to continue to work hard and get more goals. I appreciate the boss so much. You can see the intensity we put in in training and can see that if you put in that work you get the results you deserve.”