Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick had no complaints about the 1-0 loss to Wolves and also explained his reasoning behind taking off Mason Greenwood, a move that left the Old Trafford faithful fuming.
Joao Moutinho fired Wolves to a first win at Old Trafford since 1980 as Rangnick’s unbeaten start to life as United’s manager came to an end in what was a poor performance from his side.
The Red Devils finished 2021 with a much-needed home win against Burnley. However, their new year got off to a terrible start as their sloppy, disjointed display was punished by Bruno Lage’s impressive visitors.
Wolves had not played for 15 days due to coronavirus-related postponements, but they showed few signs of rust at Old Trafford, where Mourinho struck late on to secure a deserved 1-0 win.
Speaking to Sky Sports afterward, Rangnick said: “We didn’t play well at all individually or collectively. In the first half, we had big problems to keep them away from our goal.
“In the second half we changed to a back three and had more control then a spell of 15 minutes where we could have scored. The goal we conceded, we had enough players in the box. The cross had been defended by Jones but the goal we conceded was like too many this season.
“Moutinho could shoot unmarked with no problems, no pressure. We’re very disappointed about the result and parts of our performance.
“They’re playing with four or five central midfielders and we had problems to control that part of the pitch. We decided to change our formation and we had more control – they didn’t have as many chances – but we missed our chances and we have to admit they deserved to win.
“Wolves were the best team we’ve played. We have more problems today than in other games.
🗣️ “We didn’t play well at all. Neither individually, nor collectively.”
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 3, 2022
“We didn’t press at all. We tried but we were not able to get into those pressing situations. They had an overload in midfield and they played via their wing-backs.
“We’ve been only working two and a half or three weeks after needing to close the training centre. We had the results. In times we played well but today we have to admit they’re better than us.”
Rangnick explains Greenwood substitution
As for the decision to bring on Bruno Fernandes for United’s best attacker on the day, Greenwood, Rangnick added: “It was 0-0. Bruno had a big chance to put us 1-0 ahead. Mason was good but I had to take someone off and didn’t want to take off one of the sixes. I had to decide whether to take off Edi or Mason so took off Mason.
“The game showed we still have a lot of work to do. We had too many unforced errors.
“I don’t want to speak about individual performances of players. It’s an issue of the whole team. It doesn’t make sense.
“We have to see each individual game. So far we had 10 out of 12 points. Today we had our first defeat against a good team.
“They don’t score that many goals, today they scored the only goal. Today the question was who will score the first goal.”