Ralf Rangnick makes Man Utd history as he enjoys better start than Sir Alex Ferguson


Ralf Rangnick’s Manchester United side may have struggled to break Norwich City down, but he did manage to reach a milestone that Sir Alex Ferguson failed to

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Rangnick ‘couldn’t possibly turn down’ Man Utd role

Ralf Rangnick became the first Manchester United manager in 118 years to register a clean sheet in his first two Premier League matches.

Cristiano Ronaldo ’s second-half penalty was the difference as the Reds scraped past Norwich City 1-0 at Carrow Road.

While United’s performance against Dean Smith’s side was as blunt as it was lethargic, a second clean sheet in as many league matches will be a huge boost for the Reds.

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Before the former RB Leipzig manager’s arrival, United had only kept two domestic clean sheets under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who eventually paid the price with his sacking.

But Rangnick’s solid if not unspectacular start at United has seen them keep tight at the back and achieve a feat not even Sir Alex Ferguson could in his first games as United manager.

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Rangnick saw his United side stumble to a narrow victory against Norwich City

Ferguson’s start to life at Old Trafford, all the way back in November 1986, was anything but plain sailing.

His first match after replacing the popular Ron Atkinson was a disaster, as the Reds were humiliatingly beaten 2-0 by Oxford United.

Coincidentally, Ferguson’s second domestic fixture in charge of United was also an away fixture against Norwich City.

However, unlike Rangnick’s men, United could not break the Canaries down, as they were held to a goalless draw at Carrow Road.

While Rangnick’s start to life as United manager has offered some much-needed assurance, there are plenty of areas still to address.

United aggression, intensity, and commitment to his ‘gegenpress’ philosophy was evident, but they struggled to create chances against the Premier League relegation candidates.

Their first real chance of the contest took 34 minutes to arrive, as Ronaldo ducked and dipped inside two Norwich defenders, before forcing a good save from Tim Krul.

Cristiano Ronaldo secured a second consecutive 1-0 victory for Ralf Rangnick

Harry Maguire also tested the Canaries’ keeper’s with a looping diving header, which needed an acrobatic save from the Dutchman to keep out.

While United’s creativity did not improve much in the second-half, they were able to secure the three points when Ronaldo was brought down inside the box by Norwich defender Max Aarons.

The Portuguese star dusted himself down and fired the spot kick into the bottom left-hand corner past Krul.

But former United captain Gary Neville was not impressed, and fired a stark warning to Rangnick’s side, stating better teams would have punished their sloppiness.

Sir Alex Ferguson lost and drew his first two matches as Manchester United manager in 1986

“Against any other team in the league that would have caused them real problems,” Neville said on Sky Sports.

“They go to Brentford on Tuesday night and they have to better than that otherwise they will get beaten. I do think they will.

“He will see it as a good week but United will have to improve a lot to get anything in the next games.”

Rangnick was satisfied with the victory and the clean sheet, although the German echoed Neville’s sentiments by demanding improvements in their next game against Brentford.

“You learn with every game, but still at least we got the three points and the clean sheet,” Rangnick said in his post-match interview.

“But we need to improve. We need to get better that’s for sure.

“Again on Tuesday, the next away game – another difficult one. I saw Brentford against Watford. This will be another challenge for us.”

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