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Ralf Rangnick Gives Brutal Assessment Of Manchester United Top Four Hopes

Ralf Rangnick Gives Brutal Assessment Of Manchester United Top Four Hopes
By Eoin Harrington

Manchester United's hopes of Champions League are in tatters after a 3-1 defeat away to Arsenal left them six points behind their top four rivals. The Gunners also have a game in hand over United.

It looks incredibly unlikely that United will be playing Champions League football next season, and manager Ralf Rangnick said as much in his post-match interviews with BT Sport and beIN Sports.

When the manager of your club is laying out your lack of hope for the end of the season, it's a stark indicator of how badly performances have turned.

Manchester United: Ralf Rangnick says top four is "not realistic"

Speaking to BT Sport at full-time, Rangnick was asked whether the hopes of top four were gone for United. He said: "Pretty sure for me. Even before that game, it was not very likely, but after this result top four is gone, yes."

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Speaking to beIN Sports, he went even further, saying that it was not even a realistic possibility for United to push for a top four spot:

I think it's not realistic anymore, after losing the game today, we're nine points behind them. I don't think there is still a realistic chance for us.

In fairness to United, their performance was drastically improved on Saturday from recent outings, particularly going forward. Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo both impressed, while a penalty miss from Bruno Fernandes could have changed the complexion of the game.

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Speaking to beIN, Rangnick revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo himself had made the decision to hand over penalty taking duties to Fernandes. The German coach said that Ronaldo did not feel "well enough" to take the penalty, after a tragic week for the Portuguese striker.

Rangnick did praise the United performance in his BT interview, but bemoaned defensive mistakes. He said that he was content with the improved performance, despite the lack of hope of major European football for next season.

We showed what kind of football we can play. Although we had to deal with those two early goals, we still showed the attitude - there was nothing about the attitude of the players that we should fault today.

That was, for me, the only weak side of our performance today. We didn't defend well inside and around the box. The same happened when we conceded the second and the third goal.

In the end, improved performance, but disappointing result.

For Manchester United, it is quite the turnaround from this time last year. Sitting a comfortable second in the league, they were pushing ahead to the Europa League final. The arrivals of big-name talent over the summer sparked hope of kicking on from last season's promise.

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After a dire season, though, even interim manager Ralf Rangnick has given up hope of Champions League football for 2022-23. All at Old Trafford will surely be hopeful to put this season behind them and move on to the Erik Ten Hag era as quickly as possible.

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