Ralf Rangnick identifies two Man United problems during Newcastle draw

Ralf Rangnick felt Manchester United made technical and physical mistakes against Newcastle that led to a performance he wasn’t happy with.

Edinson Cavani came off the bench to equalise in the second half after Allan Saint-Maximin had put the hosts ahead, but it was a scrappy and disjointed performance from United.

They could muster no response to the opening goal before the break and Rangnick was critical of the first-half performance.

He revealed he’d warned his team about Newcastle’s danger on the break, which made United’s habit of giving the ball away in dangerous areas all the more frustrating, while he also felt his team failed to match the intensity of the hosts.

“We didn’t play good today, having been down 1-0 after seven minutes we had too many unforced errors, too many giveaways in possession, including the goal,” said Rangnick.

“That didn’t make life any easier for us in this game. It was a massive push for Newcastle. In the first half, we didn’t play good. I’m not happy with the first-half performance.

“In the second half we had to take the risk of changing formation and making two subs. It was better in the second half but still not the kind of level we have to play to control games.

“There were two problems, the unforced errors and the technical errors, which were the wrong decisions in possession, this caused transitional moments from Newcastle, they’re good in this area, the other one [problem] was we didn’t play as aggressive without the ball in counter-pressing, that is a question of physicality. In both areas we were not at the level we should have been.”

United were playing their first game in 16 days after a Covid-19 outbreak forced the postponement of games against Brentford and Brighton, but Rangnick rejected the possibility of using that as an excuse for the performance.

“Maybe there might still be some side effects of Covid but I don’t think we should look for excuses,” he said.

“We should analyse and realise in this area [physicality] Newcastle was better than us. We have to raise that level, get better. In three days we’re playing Burnley, this will be physical, we have to get more physical.”