Manchester United: Ralf Rangnick says win at Leeds United ‘perfect response’ to unrest reports

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick said his side’s 4-2 win at Leeds was the “perfect response” to reports of unrest in his squad.

A story in the Mirror on Thursday suggested skipper Harry Maguire and forward Cristiano Ronaldo were “embroiled in a power struggle” over the club’s captaincy.

“We knew that it was an important win today,” said Rangnick.

“That was the best possible answer the team could give.”

He added: “It was perfect with regard to maturity, unity and the best reply that they could give to some articles last week that there was some disruption in the locker room.”

Maguire was handed the captaincy by former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer two years ago, but reports suggest his authority has been undermined by 37-year-old Ronaldo’s return.

Both the England defender and his team-mate Marcus Rashford responded on social media to say the report was not true earlier this week.

The Red Devils survived a second-half comeback to beat their rivals in front of a boisterous Elland Road crowd with Maguire nodding in the game’s opening goal.

“I think a game like this one today you can only win as a team and with the mentality of a team,” added Rangnick. “This was, apart from the three points, the most important thing.”

Objects thrown at Elanga ‘being investigated’

In the closing stages the Red Devils’ Anthony Elanga slotted home the visitors’ fourth, restoring their two-goal lead and ensuring a league double over their fierce rivals.

Earlier, the 19-year-old had been struck by an object thrown from the home crowd while celebrating his side’s third goal.

“As far as I know, there is some investigation going on from Leeds United,” said Rangnick who earlier this week admitted he was only recently made aware of the rivalry between the two clubs.

“I don’t think that anything happened in the end. Elanga looked well and he was happy about scoring.

“Obviously things like that should not happen and I think even more so in this game. The atmosphere was great.”

Anthony Elanga's late goal
Anthony Elanga’s late goal ensured all three points return to Old Trafford

‘Injuries are affecting us’ – Bielsa

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa said he did not see the incidents involving objects being thrown but condemned such actions.

The Argentine also reiterated to reporters he still believes his side are capable of staying in the Premier League this season.

Leeds’ latest defeat means they have taken just one point from their past three matches.

Although they remain five points clear of the relegation zone, their next three games are against tricky opponents in Liverpool, Tottenham and Leicester City.

Bielsa has had to contend with a catalogue of injuries. Star midfielder Kalvin Phillips has been sidelined since December, while Robin Koch was the latest to be forced off after a collision against Manchester United.

“Due to the absence of players, the composition of the midfield doesn’t have a defensive profile and that had an influence in the defensive behaviour of the team today,” said Bielsa.

“The effort the team made you can value it, but the relationship between what you get and what they produced is enormous in football.

“To not fight would be a sign that is worrying and to fight is a starting point. But it is not the only thing.”

Source: bbc

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