Ralf Rangnick remarkably revealed Anthony Martial was omitted from the Man Utd squad to face Aston Villa after he refused to be selected.
Manchester United surrendered a two-goal lead after Aston Villa fought back to secure a 2-2 draw at Villa Park. United thought their luck had finally turned after both of Bruno Fernandes’ goals came via Villa errors.
Nonetheless, Fernandes silenced his recent critics with his second strike in particular after clinically punishing Morgan Sanson’s error.
However, Villa livewire Jacob Ramsey pulled one back after Fred’s tackle poked the ball straight into the youngster’s path.
Former Liverpool favourite Philippe Coutinho then returned to haunt United when prodding home the equaliser on his debut from the bench.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Rangnick said: “It is very difficult to find positives after these 95 minutes.
“I felt it was the best game since I came here. In the first half for 30 minutes we dominated the game. We had taken some steps forward but have a few things to do better.
“The plan was to press them in the midzone and we did that very well in the first 30 minutes, and control the ball, and those were the positives. When you are 2-0 up you have to defend better than we did in the last 15 minutes.
“We gave away too many balls at times in the last 15 minutes. We were not as compact as before and conceded the two goals.
“In the last 15 minutes before half time we were not as courageous to step up. It was better in the second half and then you have to take the three points home. It feels like a defeat, to be honest.
“Right now is very disappointed but what we showed was a step forward but it about getting the results, it feels like two points lost and given away.”
Rangnick drops Anthony Martial bombshell
In a separate interview , Rangnick was asked directly about Anthony Martial’s absence.
With no Cristiano Ronaldo or Marcus Rashford in the squad, there theoretically was a chance for Martial to stake a claim in the team.
However, Martial – who revealed via his agent he wants to leave United this month – remarkably opted against being included in Rangnick’s squad.
Sevilla don’t want Martial as Manchester United price too expensive
Sevilla have dropped all interest in Martial as Manchester United price is too high for them
Via Luckhurst, Rangnick said: “He (Anthony Martial) didn’t want to be in the squad.
“He would have been in the squad normally but he didn’t want to and that was the reason why he didn’t travel with us yesterday.”
‘We had it under control’ – Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes also spoke to the press, telling Sky Sports: “We got into the perfect position to score more goals and take the third goal and finish the game. But we don’t get our chance on the counters and gave the chances to them.
“They have good players up front and draw the game. It is tough to take because I think the game was under control.
“After our first goal they began to press us more, but still we had our chances and could have scored again.
“The shot was not good, the pass was not good and you start losing confidence. The game got bigger and they got more space between the lines. With the quality of players they have up front, they hurt you.
“The performance was better than the result, more controlled but the main point is winning games and points.
“We deserved more, but its not about deserving it is about getting points. We still have a lot to improve but it is about performance and results together.”