Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ralf Rangnick suffers first defeat as Wolverhampton Wanderers stun Manchester United

Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Joao Moutinho celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Monday, Jan.3, 2022. Dave Thompson/AP

MANCHESTER, January 4: Manchester United suffered their first defeat under interim manager Ralf Rangnick, falling to a 1-0 loss at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Monday.
An 82nd minute strike from Joao Moutinho earned Wolves their first win at Old Trafford since 1980 and moved Bruno Lage’s side up to eighth place.
United, who could have few complaints about the result after a poor performance, remain seventh place on 31 points — four behind Arsenal who currently hold the fourth Champions League spot.
Wolves created a series of chances in the first half but it was not until eight minutes from the end that they made their superiority count when Moutinho pounced on a headed clearance from Phil Jones and fired past David De Gea.
German Rangnick, who is in charge of United until the end of the season after taking over from the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, saw a disjointed display by his team with little sign of the high-energy pressing style he had initially attempted to introduce.
“We didn’t play well at all individually or collectively. In the first half, we had big problems to keep them away from our goal,” said Rangnick.
“The game showed we still have a lot of work to do. We had too many unforced errors. I don’t want to speak about individual performances of players. It’s an issue of the whole team. It doesn’t make sense,” he added.
The injury-plagued Jones made his first Premier League appearance in almost two years with Rangnick turning to the former England central defender in the absence of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.
The 29-year-old had delivered a solid performance on his return before his ill-judged header out towards Moutinho which led to the goal.
Wolves could easily have had a comfortable lead by halftime with the excellent Daniel Podence, Ruben Neves and Nelson Semedo all bringing United keeper De Gea into action early in the game.
United created little with their best opening of the first half ending with Edinson Cavani blasting a shot off target when he should have played in Mason Greenwood.
Greenwood had been the most creative player for United and there were rare boos from the home crowd when Rangnick chose him to make way for the introduction of Bruno Fernandes.
Fernandes should have put United ahead when he side-footed a low ball across the box from Nemanja Matic against the cross-bar and Ronaldo had the ball in the net, with a header from a Fernandes cross, but the effort was flagged for offside.
Wolves were in no mood to sit back, though, and settle for a draw and they also found the woodwork when Romain Saiss hit the bar with a free-kick.
The visitor’s endeavours were finally rewarded when Moutinho settled the affair with his low shot past the helpless De Gea and set off loud celebrations for the travelling support.
“Winning here at Old Trafford against a big team is amazing for us,” said Moutinho.
“We came here to play football, play with the ball, that’s what we do. We created a lot of shots in the first half. We controlled everything. We only let them create one opportunity,” he added. (Agencies)