Every word Ralf Rangnick said after Man Utd win over Leeds - Pogba, physicality, fan missiles & more

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The German had plenty to say after Manchester United overcame the Whites at Elland Road.

Ralf Rangnick felt his Manchester United side showed ‘maturity and unity’ as they beat Leeds United 4-2 on Sunday.

The Red Devils were pegged back after leading 2-0 at half-time, but then went on to score a further double late in the second half to wrap up the three points.

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Speaking after the game, Rangnick explained the importance of the win at Elland Road, in the race for a top-four spot.

The German also gave his view on a frantic afternoon in Yorkshire, explained his decision to replace Paul Pogba for Fred, reflected on the physicality displayed by both teams, and provided an update on the Leeds fans who threw objects at his players, when answering questions in the post-match press conference.

Rangnick gave a passionate reaction at the full-time whistle in Yorkshire. Credit: Getty.Rangnick gave a passionate reaction at the full-time whistle in Yorkshire. Credit: Getty.
Rangnick gave a passionate reaction at the full-time whistle in Yorkshire. Credit: Getty.

Assessment of the game

“It was a very intense and, if you were a neutral person you could say entertaining, football game. I think there were only very few moments when nothing happened on the pitch. It took us some 10/15 minutes to get into the game. I think the last half hour before half-time we did great, we put them under pressure, we always forced them into their half. The whole first half happened in their half and were 2-0 up, could have been 3-0 or 4-0 up. At half-time we were fully aware they would have a go at us and try to play with more aggression. I still think the first goal came out of the blue, I don’t think Rodrigo intended to play the ball to where he played it to. But within two minutes, 2-2. It took us, more or less, five minutes to try and shake ourselves and the reaction was great; we showed maturity, we showed unity on the pitch as a team. In the end I think we highly deserved to win.”

Rangnick was thrilled with United’s response after going 2-0 down. Credit: Getty.Rangnick was thrilled with United’s response after going 2-0 down. Credit: Getty.
Rangnick was thrilled with United’s response after going 2-0 down. Credit: Getty.

Pogba withdrawal and substitutes’ impact

“He did well in the first half, but he didn’t play from the wing, he played as one of the two eights together with Bruno [Fernandes]. On the wing we played with Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho. He [Pogba] did great, but after 60 minutes I think he was tired, which is normal after such a long injury break. It was great to bring on two energetic players like Fred and Anthony Elanga. That they both scored in the end, this is the best part of it, but I didn’t bring them on actually to score goals. It was more about getting more energy into the team and playing in the similar style to how we played in the first half.”

Elanga added a fourth at late on at Elland Road. Credit: Getty.Elanga added a fourth at late on at Elland Road. Credit: Getty.
Elanga added a fourth at late on at Elland Road. Credit: Getty.

Physical battle in Leeds

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“I think we showed maturity, we were raising our level of aggression towards what we had to play against here in this atmosphere. For me, as someone coming from Germany, there were quite a few tackles today that in Germany there would have been no discussion whatsoever. But I spoke to the referee about that tackle on Bruno before they scored their equaliser, and I said ‘listen, in Germany they wouldn’t have even asked VAR’ and the referee said to me quite funnily, ‘this is why you had to come to England’. I think we did well and we showed character. This was an important result after the results of yesterday. We had to win. I hope, not just the win, but the way we won, will give us new additional energy for the upcoming games in Madrid and the Premier League game against Watford at home.”

Missiles thrown from Leeds fans

“As far as I know there is an investigation going on from Leeds United. I don’t think anything happened in the end. Anthony Elanga looked well and he was happy about scoring his goal. Obviously things like that should not happen and I think even more so in this game, the atmosphere was great and at times you had to cool down some things on the pitch a little bit. This is what I tried to do when I walked onto the pitch. I didn’t want anything to happen with regards to yellow or red cards. In moments like this I think it’s important to try and cool things down.”

Mental strength shown

“We knew it was an important win today, similar to the one against West Ham, that was similarly emotional with the goal against West Ham. But today it was important, not just the way that we won the game but the way we reacted after conceding the equaliser. That was the best possible reaction the team could give. It was perfect in regards to maturity and unity, and the best response they could give to some articles last week that there was some disruption in the locker room. I think, a game like today you can only win as a team, and with the mentality of a team. This was, apart from the three points, the most important thing from me.”

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