Arsenal legend-turned-pundit Ian Wright said that he was confused by Ralf Rangnick’s decision-making during Manchester United’s 1-0 Premier League defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday.
The Red Devils went into the game after a comfortable 3-1 triumph over Burnley.
They had the opportunity to secure a second-straight win to close the gap on the Champions League places.
However, it was not the case. They struggled in the final third for not the first time this season.
Wolves were by far the better side over 90 minutes. They managed a staggering 15 shots in the opening half.
The Midlands outfit eventually secured the win with a Joao Moutinho strike from the edge of the box in the 82nd minute.
It was a frustrating game for United with just two shots on target. One of those came from a Bruno Fernandes free-kick in stoppage time.
Following the Red Devils’ defeat, Wright was critical over Rangnick’s tactics. The 58-year-old was confused by the German’s decision to play with two holding midfielders, especially at Old Trafford.
He added to express surprise over Fernandes starting on the bench while also being baffled by Mason Greenwood’s substitution. Wright emphasised that he has seen nothing different from recent weeks.
He told Premier League productions via DAZN Canada: “I am confused [on Rangnick trying to control the game].
You are not going to do it with [Scott] McTominay and [Nemanja] Matic in midfield.”
“I don’t know why Bruno Fernandes didn’t start. We saw the impact he had. Man United at Old Trafford should be controlling the game. Why they need two holding midfielders [at home] is confusing for me.
“At Old Trafford, you got to be progressive more to get to Ronaldo, Cavani, Sancho and Greenwood, who still I can’t believe came off.
“They need to put more pressure on these teams. Honestly. I have seen nothing different at all.”
Yesterday’s defeat was the first under Rangnick, but it was a largely disappointing performance as Wolves were dominant.
The visitors managed twice the number of shots as United over the course of 90 minutes.
There was a big positive with Phil Jones’ superb performance on his long-awaited return, but the club can’t afford such inconsistency with the fierce battle ongoing for the final Champions League spot.
They could have closed the gap to fourth-placed Arsenal to one point with a game in hand, but find themselves four points adrift instead.
Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United picked up wins over the weekend. The top-four race could go down to the wire.
United face Aston Villa in the Premier League next on January 15. The Villans beat them in the reverse fixture in September, and it won’t be a straightforward game.
Before that, they will host the same opponents in the FA Cup third round on January 10.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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