- Ralf Rangnick believes Cristiano Ronaldo may have a role to play under the incoming Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag
- Bruno Fernandes put United 1-0 up against Brentford Ronaldo, and Raphael Varane registered for their 10th home win in the league
- Rangnick was pleased with United’s performance against Brentford, and the club is still statistically possible to finish fourth
Ronaldo scored his 24th goal of the season in a 3-0 win over Brentford, falling two short of the 26 he scored in his previous season with United in 2008-09, when he was 24 years old.
. Now 37, Ronaldo is only behind Heung Son-min and Mohamed Salah in the Premier League scoring charts, and he appeared to say, “I’m not finished“, during United players’ lap of honour.
Ronaldo’s doubters have been calmed down by his recent form of nine goals in five league games, and he is under contract with United for another year.
“The way he played again tonight, not only because he scored a goal, but also because he also won the penalty and helped defensively tonight, so why should he not be a player who could still be part of the squad and help the team?” Rangnick said.
“But this is a question you have to ask Erik when he is here, and it is also essential how Cristiano sees himself and his position.
“Cristiano is not a central striker, and he also does not want to play in that position.
“To not play central, you have to play with two strikers as we did in the last 15 minutes, my first game against Crystal Palace or the second one against Norwich, and even the second half against Newcastle.
“But if you look at international football, not many top teams play with two strikers. Most of the top international teams either play with three strikers or a false nine, so for me, it’s not a question of position.
It’s a question of what kind of quality players Manchester United have in the future.”
Rangnick was pleased with United’s performance against Brentford, and the club is still statistically possible to finish fourth, despite having all but given up on Champions League qualification.
Bruno Fernandes gave United a 1-0 lead at the break against Brentford before summer signings. Ronaldo and Raphael Varane sealed their 10th league victory at home.
“We also had some good home games, but they were a couple of weeks ago,” Rangnick noted. “I think tonight we showed probably one of our best performances in the last six months in possession of the ball.
We had 73 or 74% possession in the first half and 65 in the end. For me, high passing accuracy of 91% was why we controlled the game in the last areas of the game.
It also had to do with the players on the pitch, with three creative central midfielders with Juan Mata, Bruno, and Nemanja Matic.
Whenever we played the ball behind their backline, whenever we increased speed, and we were not just playing possession for possession, we had our moments; this is how we scored our first goal.
Even the very narrow offside position of Cristiano would’ve been the second goal.
That’s why we were in control of most of the game. We had a few gaps defensively, but I was generally pleased with the performance that we showed tonight.”