Ralf Rangnick said he went from thinking Manchester United were the “worst team he’s ever coached” after the derby loss to Manchester City to dreaming of winning the Champions League after victory over Tottenham on Saturday.
United were beaten 4-1 by City at the Etihad Stadium only for Rangnick’s side to beat Spurs 3-2 a week later thanks to a superb hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo.
– Football on ESPN+: FC Daily | Futbol Americas
– You don’t have ESPN? Access immediately
Ronaldo’s performance at Old Trafford came three days before United host Atletico Madrid in their Champions League Round of 16 second leg and the 37-year-old’s form has sparked questions as to on whether he could win the tournament for the sixth time this season.
“That’s what I like about this club too,” the interim United manager said.
“Sunday I almost felt like I was at a funeral, that it was already dead. I felt like it was the worst team I’ve ever coached. And after the 3- 2 against Tottenham, we are discussing our chances of winning the Champions League. Ask me that question if we reach the Champions League final then you can ask me again.”
United face Atletico on Tuesday after drawing 1-1 in Spain. Victory over the Spanish champions at Old Trafford would only guarantee their third Champions League quarter-final appearance since reaching the final in 2011.
Rangnick is hoping to have Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw available but says he will have to make a last minute decision on Bruno Fernandes after he returned a positive test for COVID-19.
“With Scotty, I hope, but he had muscle issues with his calf,” Rangnick said.
“That’s why we decided not to play him. [against Tottenham]because Scotty just like Fred, he’s only of value if he can play at 100% of his physical capacity and rather than playing him at maybe 80% and risking him being out on Tuesday, we decided not to play it.
“Hopefully Luke will be back in training and Bruno we will have to wait and see until Tuesday. It will probably be a last minute race with him.
“We have to be careful with COVID testing. David [De Gea] was the same.
“David was out [against Spurs]he wasn’t supposed to play but his first quick test turned out to be wrong.
“He had one or two more rapid tests and then a PCR test and it was negative. I didn’t decide until Saturday morning that he was going to play.”