Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ralf Rangnick bemoans Man Utd profligacy in shock FA Cup defeat; ‘doesn’t understand’ ref decision

Ralf Rangnick gestures from the Man Utd touchline

Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick believes his team should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up before Middlesbrough equalised in their shock FA Cup defeat at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils had plenty of chances early on but only converted one, through winger Jadon Sancho. That came after Cristiano Ronaldo had surprisingly dragged a penalty wide.

In the second half, Rashford showed a lack of composure when sending a first-time effort over.

Boro somehow remained in the tie and snatched a controversial equaliser in the 64th minute. Substitute Duncan Watmore seemed to handle in the box before attempting to lob Dean Henderson. The ball fell to Matt Crooks at the back post and he slid home.

United complained about the handball but VAR did not intervene due to a change in the rules before the season began.

Bruno Fernandes then hit the post with the goal at his mercy, as the game went to extra time.

United’s creativity fizzled out and they failed to muster many good chances from then on.

That took the fourth round clash to penalties. Most were confidently dispatched before Anthony Elanga blasted his over the bar to send Boro through, as Chris Wilder’s men recorded a memorable victory.

Ralf Rangnick left disappointed

After the match, Rangnick said (via BBC Sport): “Incredibly disappointed, we should have won and killed off the game in the first half. Crossbar, post, missed penalty and numerous chances. It should have been 2-0 or 3-0.

“We conceded a goal which I don’t understand why it stood. He controlled it with his hand.

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“In the moment when they scored, it was clear that VAR would not allow this goal to stand. We were not well positioned in that moment, too open and allowed them the counter, we should have won the game.

“Anthony Elanga, anyone can imagine how he us, he is shattered and absolutely disappointed. It was the eighth penalty which had all converted.”

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Wilder hails the magic of the cup

Opposition manager Wilder said: “The FA Cup is alive and kicking, especially in Middlesbrough. I told the players it was all about making memories.

“We rode our luck and took our chances. The decisions that are made through VAR have changed since I left the Premier League – I thought straight away it was handball. I thought it would be chalked out and delighted it wasn’t.”

Boro forward Watmore added: “It was completely accidental. Amazing to make a difference and set up Crooksy. Me and Crooksy were in a United age group team together here – so it is even more special.”

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