Southampton had been properly price their 1-1 draw at a rain-soaked Outdated Trafford in Saturday’s Premier League conflict and on one other day they could have left with three factors moderately than one.
“Historical past is repeating itself once more,” United defender Luke Shaw mentioned afterward. “We began very well the primary 20 minutes, received the objective and it simply occurred once more.”
It isn’t the one statistic that issues however Ralph Hasenhuttl’s staff ended the afternoon with 14 photographs to United’s 13, a good reflection of the menace they posed to David de Gea‘s objective.
In somewhat over every week Rangnick’s facet have gone out of the FA Cup and dropped 4 factors within the race for a top-four end and Champions League soccer subsequent season in opposition to groups who began the day twentieth and tenth within the desk. What was left of United’s season is at risk of unravelling and Brighton & Hove Albion will definitely fancy their possibilities once they arrive right here on Tuesday.
“Sadly it was similar to the final couple of video games,” United’s interim coach Rangnick mentioned postmatch. “An excellent first half, excellent first half-hour. We did all of the issues we meant to do with the counterattacks and the deep runs. We created, scored an amazing objective.
“Then we stopped doing that; on the finish of the primary half we did not do these issues anymore after which within the second we misplaced a little bit of form.”
For Rangnick, there are issues at each ends of the pitch. For the tenth time in his 13 video games in cost, United failed to attain greater than as soon as in a sport and, simply as within the cup defeat in opposition to Middlesbrough and in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Burnley within the league, they paid a excessive worth.
It might be unfair to level the finger solely at Cristiano Ronaldo — as Rangnick mentioned in his prematch information convention on Friday — however for the time being he’s providing only a few options. Again within the beginning XI in opposition to Southampton, his contribution was one shot cleared off the road by Romain Perraud, a objective dominated out by the referee’s assistant and a left-foot effort saved by Fraser Forster.
After sprinting to shut down Forster he turned to see Marcus Rashford had not adopted him, arched his again in frustration and slapped his thighs. It involves one thing when urgent is probably the most eye-catching a part of his sport. It is now six video games and 537 and not using a objective.
Rangnick insisted his staff had “massive possibilities” to attain a winner, including: “Immediately we had an xG of two.57 to 0.57 for Southampton. It isn’t a query of not creating possibilities, it is a query of not being efficient sufficient.”
Nonetheless, the pocket of Southampton followers within the nook of the stadium headed south additionally pondering they may have received. It is fairly a turnaround from the final time they left Outdated Trafford, nearly precisely a yr in the past, once they noticed their staff get thrashed 9-0 on Feb. 2, 2021.
Former United captain Gary Neville confirmed that he wasn’t impressed with the best way United went about making an attempt to win the sport by tweeting: “Breaking each rule within the e-book right here United on find out how to chase a objective! Do not give fouls away, do not give the ball away, do not pressure it, do not lose your self-discipline and chase the ref.”
On the different finish, Harry Maguire had one other poor sport. Too usually he charged out into harmful areas or was discovered brutally uncovered by his lack of tempo. He practically made up for it with a stoppage-time header that was brilliantly saved by Forster however he was fortunate, too, when he escaped sanction for a careless problem on Armando Broja.
There’s a case to be made for Victor Lindelof to begin alongside Raphael Varane in opposition to Brighton. Ronaldo might have few complaints if he was additionally overlooked however which may rely upon the health of Edinson Cavani, absent right here due to a groin damage suffered in coaching on Friday.
“We had the clearer possibilities to win, however proper now we’re struggling to maintain our composure and the construction for greater than the primary half,” Rangnick mentioned. “We now have to grasp the place we’re. [Southampton] won 3-2 at Tottenham [on Wednesday], they usually anticipated to win simply. We received a degree at the moment. We anticipated three and wanted three, however that’s the scenario. That’s the reason there was a change of supervisor and why we’re right here.”
There have been indicators of enchancment since Rangnick took over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in December however it isn’t sufficient. Jadon Sancho, who scored his second objective in three video games, is trying extra just like the participant who dazzled at Borussia Dortmund whereas Paul Pogba has impressed since getting back from damage. Varane and Diogo Dalot have additionally been optimistic however, collectively, there may be nonetheless one thing missing.
Regardless of having simply two days to organize to United’s three, Southampton turned up at Outdated Trafford like a staff who had nothing to worry they usually had been proper, in all probability understanding that sooner or later United would invite them into the sport.
For the third time in a row, Rangnick’s staff could not maintain it collectively for 90 minutes. Their top-four problem is at risk of falling aside, too.