Ralf Rangnick maintained his perfect start to Premier League life as Manchester United ran out 1-0 winners against Norwich City at Carrow Road this evening.
United’s interim boss started with a narrow 1-0 home victory over Crystal Palace before repeating that same result in East Anglia with leading marksman Cristiano Ronaldo deciding the contest from 12 yards.
Not one you can ever accuse of downing tools, Ronaldo did his utmost best to keep former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (whose Premier League tally of 91 goals he’s matched) in a job, those late Champions League heroics pushed a shaky Man Utd team into the round of 16 as Group F winners.
By netting deep in the second half — Norwich becoming the 120th different team (of 160 faced) he’s scored past — Ronaldo subsequently became the third player to score for three different Man Utd managers (Solskjaer, Michael Carrick and Rangnick) in a single campaign after James Hanson and Joe Spence who both achieved this rare feat during the 1926/27 season.
The result also ensured Rangnick followed in the footsteps of his four immediate predecessors by winning his first road game in England’s top division. It also broke the Red Devils four-game winless streak against newly promoted sides. They couldn’t have asked for better opposition as the Canaries have now failed to score in a league-high ten different Premier League games this season.
By expectedly shutting out Norwich the ‘godfather of gegenpressing’ wrote his name into the history books as the second Man Utd manager to register a clean sheet in his opening two league games after Ernest Mangnall in 1903. A renowned perfectionist Rangnick wouldn’t be celebrating and on another day, against better opposition, it could have been a different story which he noted.
💯 Starting life in the #PL with back-to-back wins 👏
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 11, 2021
“It was a very intense game, very physical. They played well, they didn’t play like a bottom team. We had some problems in the first 15 minutes,” he told reporters.
“From the start we controlled the game but didn’t always have the best possible solutions. Defensively we did well, tactically in the first half we didn’t allow them to have too many shots or chances.
“At half-time I told the boys we needed to increase the speed and intensity of the game. The second half was a little bit better but at the end we were lucky to have a clean sheet and there were two or three saves by David de Gea. It’s another clean sheet but still a lot of work to do.”