‘Best performance since I arrived - Rangnick gives his view on Ronaldo showing as Man Utd beat Tottenham
The Manchester United interim manager said Ronaldo demonstrated his physical sharpness in the victory over Spurs.
Ronaldo’s hat-trick guided United to a well-deserved 3-2 victory over Spurs in the Premier League, and means he has now netted 807 career goals, more than any other player in the history of FIFA-recognised games.
The Portuguese striker’s first strike came via a 25-yard bullet from outside the box, the second was a poacher’s finish at the back post, while his final goal was a powerful header from a corner.
It was a phenomenal display from Ronaldo, who has now netted 12 in 24 league appearances this season, and Rangnick was asked for his view on the performance after the game.
“Well he made a difference for sure, with his three goals,” the German responded. “But not only because of the three goals. I think that was the best performance from him since I arrived, on and off the ball.
“I think the whole team showed exactly that kind of reaction that we expected to show after the poor second half at the Etihad [last week]. Coming back after two equalisers also showed the mentality of the team.”
Rangnick was asked to expand on his comments about Ronaldo performing well out of possession, and the former RB Leipzig manager admitted that hasn’t always been the case this season.
“Today he showed he is physically capable to do that, but we have to admit it has not always been like that in the past couple of weeks and months,” Rangnick explained in his post-match press conference.
“Today it was really important that he showed exactly that and that he is still in a physical shape that he can perform on that kind of level.
“That is exactly what we need for the final nine games of the season in the Premier League, but also on Tuesday in the Champions League against Atletico.”
Ronaldo’s unorthodox pre-match preparations
A week can seem like a long time in football, especially for United, who were so convincingly beaten by Manchester City last Sunday.
Ronaldo missed that game due to a hip injury, and last week Rangnick had to defend the decision to allow the attacker to miss the match, especially after reports emerged that he had flown to Portugal.
But Rangnick found the whole incident rather amusing when speaking on Saturday and said perhaps it’s the sort of pre-match preparation Ronaldo must try more often.
“We were just joking a little bit, maybe it makes sense to send him to Portugal for three days, not train for two days and then have him back in training on Thursday,” said the 63-year-old.
“By the way, he trained in a similar sort of way on Thursday. That’s why I asked him in Thursday’s session, despite being out for a week, to play from the start. Maybe we need to do that for the rest of the season.”