Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Roy Keane claims Ralf Rangnick was wrong to not sub ‘poor’ Man Utd performer in Villa draw

Edison Cavani and Bruno Fernandes high-five during Aston Villa vs Manchester United, January 2022

Roy Keane singled out one Manchester United star who he thought Ralf Rangnick should’ve substituted following their defeat to Aston Villa.

The Red Devils were under the cosh in the second half at Villa Park, but Rangnick only made the one change before the 89th minute. By that time the home side had scored twice and the game was virtually over.

While Keane was complimentary of Villa, the pundit felt there was an obvious decision for Rangnick to make that may have helped United’s cause.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Keane said: “Credit to Villa they fought back well. They had to gamble, got control of the second half, United seemed to tire.

“But again we give credit to Villa for that and they certainly deserved to draw.

“When United get 2-0 in front you’re thinking it’s game over. But then we saw the kind of weaknesses in United, the lack of control particularly in midfield and to give away a couple of goals will be disappointing.

“But overall you couldn’t begrudge Villa the draw.

Man Utd transfer news: Are Rice, Haaland and Zakaria any better than what Rangnick already has?

“They showed a lot of bravery in the second half because when you open yourself up against United you’re thinking they can rip you apart.

“But United weren’t quite at it in terms of the counter-attack. I thought Cavani was poor and I was surprised he left him on for the full game.”

Manchester United given Fabian Ruiz boost by Napoli

Napoli are looking for new options in midfield as Manchester United want Fabian Ruiz

As per stats from WhoScored, Cavani didn’t register a single attempt on goal throughout the 90 minutes. He also made just 27 passes, of which only 70% were successful.

It was Bruno Fernandes who starred in the injured Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence.

As he often has been this season, Fernandes was more fruitful without his fellow countryman alongside him and scored both of United’s goals.

Subs the difference, says Roy Keane

Man Utd pair Alex Telles and Bruno Fernandes celebrating after scoring versus Aston Villa

But yet more dropped points in the Premier League left United in seventh, five points off the Champions League spots.

Five of their next six fixtures are against teams in the bottom half of the table. And the remaining match is a huge showdown with West Ham at Old Trafford.

Keane continued: “It just shows you their shortcomings. I always say the table doesn’t lie, they’re seventh now. There’s still plusses, I still think there’s quality, we saw that today.

“But there’s still that bit of weakness, particularly in the second half. Even when United were 2-0 up, you’re thinking they should just try and break the momentum, somebody go down with an injury or make a foul.

“When we look at the goals for Villa, they were running past people and people were just falling by the wayside. There was no aggression.

“United looked tired in the second half, they looked quite weak in midfield. I thought the substitutions worked for Villa but weren’t so good for United.”

READ MOREFuming Martial lashes out at Ralf Rangnick over claims he ‘didn’t want to play’ for Man Utd