Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick knows that the Manchester derby is important and that his side were far from the superior side in Sunday’s 4-1 loss at the Etihad Stadium.
United supporters will be dispirited at the latest example of the gap between United and Man City. While Rangnick truly wanted to get a result on Sunday, he sounds like a man who was hoping for a good result with an eye on more important tests ahead.
The Red Devils are a week away from two matches that will likely define their season: a Saturday visit from top four fighters Tottenham Hotspur and then a home UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Atletico Madrid three days later.
“We are fully aware that we need to win games,” Rangnick said. “This was one of the most difficult ones that we have to play, but now it’s about accepting, although it’s difficult, that they were the better team and looking ahead to the next games and make sure that we win especially the next two home games which are essential for us. We will do anything to win these two games.”
Rangnick labeled United’s first half “good, at least decent” and said that they might’ve been in a better position than down 2-1 at the break.
"There is a gap between the two clubs right now."
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) March 6, 2022
Edinson Cavani, Cristiano Ronaldo injury updates
And the United boss was hampered by injuries as Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani were not available with minor injuries.
Will they be available against Spurs and Atleti?
“I was hoping to have them available for this game but they weren’t,” Rangnick said. “We have two important games coming up against Spurs and Atletico so we have to put our full focus on that.”