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‘It was our assist!’ – Ralf Rangnick blames Manchester United star for Crystal Palace goal


The Red Devils gave another sloppy display in a 1-0 defeat on Sunday (Pictures: Reuters)

Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has criticised Bruno Fernandes for his role in Crystal Palace’s winning goal as the Red Devils suffered their 12th defeat of the season.

Rangnick had wanted to end the campaign on a small high by securing Europa League qualification with a win at Selhurst Park, but they fell behind in the first half to a strike from Wilfried Zaha – which proved to be the game’s only goal.

Fortunately for United, Brighton came from behind against West Ham to beat the east Londoners, meaning it was the Hammers who had to settle for Europa Conference League football next season.

Fernandes played a blind pass that went straight to Zaha (Picture: Sky Sports)

Zaha’s goal was a bit of a disaster from United’s point of view, with Fernandes volleying a throw-in back towards his own goal without looking and the ball dropped kindly for the Palace forward, who bodied Diogo Dalot off the ball.

The Ivory Coast international then cut inside and neither Dalot nor Victor Lindelof were able to get a block in on Zaha’s shot, with the ball trickling in at the near post.

Rangnick felt United’s poor passing and wishy-washy defending was typical of their performances this season and pointed out the role Fernandes had played in gifting possession to Palace and Zaha.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, he said: ‘We would have loved to take care of it ourselves but the game was indicative of the last couple of weeks, especially when we played away from home. We tried.

‘I think we had three good opportunities to score ourselves in the first half but we didn’t and, especially in the first half, we had too many unforced errors and bad giveaways, that is the way we conceded the goal.

‘In fact, it was our assist, the goalscorer, in the end, was Zaha but the ones who gave the assist were ourselves.

Erik ten Hag was in attendance for Sunday’s defeat (Picture: PA)

‘There was a throw-in – just keep the ball into our own half – and the way we defended that shot was also not the way that you have to defend in this league and that’s why we were trailing again 1-0.

‘At half-time, we were trying to bring on all the young strikers we had on the bench. We had some opportunities in the second half but it was not clinical enough and that’s why we lost again away from home.’

Incoming new manager Erik ten Hag was watching in the stands at Selhurst Park – though had no involvement in preparing the team for the match, nor did he speak to the players – and he will have his unveiling press conference on Monday.


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