Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal drought now stands at six games after Manchester United drew 1-1 with Southampton on Saturday. The Red Devils and their No. 7 put in another dismal performance, and the team is now fighting for a place in next season’s Champions League. They are presently fifth in the table, one point behind West Ham on goal difference.
When United re-signed Ronaldo from Juventus in the summer, they anticipated competing for the Premier League title.
However, it has not occurred, as the Red Devils have endured yet another difficult season.
When United fired Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November and recruited Rangnick as his interim replacement, they hoped he would be able to get them back on track.
However, while the team is more difficult to beat under the 63-year-old than it was under his predecessor, results continue to fall short of expectations.
United have exited the FA Cup and drawn with Burnley and Southampton during the winter break.
And, as their season continues to deteriorate, there has been much speculation about Ronaldo perhaps departing Old Trafford for the second time.
However, his explanation would be different than when he left the club to join Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.
Ronaldo explained his choice to leave the Red Devils in 2017, saying, “I just thought in my head I want to go there to show my level, to show that I’m a different player, and that’s what I did.”
“I arrived and had a terrific first season, and then I improved every season after that.”
“The Red Devils will live on in my memory forever.” Being around the finest players in the world taught me to get better and better.”
Ronaldo wants to try something different.
He returned to United, however, because he believed he could be the player to shake the club out of its post-Sir Alex Ferguson slump.
Obviously, this has not occurred.
Ronaldo is concerned about the state of Manchester United, saying that standards have dropped from the days when he first ran down the Old Trafford wing.
And if he does depart, it will be because he believes they are no longer capable of competing for the game’s highest prizes.
Rangnick went after Ronaldo after the draw with Southampton.
The 37-year-old had a poor day, with only two shots on goal during the Premier League match.
The Portugal international had rounded Fraser Forster and had an empty net in front of him at one point during the encounter.
Ronaldo from yesteryear would have finished the opportunity without even blinking. This variant, on the other hand, delivered a meek attempt that was quickly cleared off the line.
Rangnick also acknowledged that he thought Ronaldo should have scored.
“He would have liked to have scored, I would have liked to have scored, and the whole team would have liked to have scored,” he remarked.
“He had good chances, including one of the game’s biggest when he went past the goalkeeper, but it was cleared.”
Rangnick also admitted that United’s inability to finish was costing them dearly.
“Yes, I agree in the last four weeks,” he responded when asked if his team had lost too many chances in recent games.
“We played pretty well in the first half.” We accomplished everything we were supposed to do in the first half-hour: we played behind them, getting them into one-on-ones, running duels, and playing behind their backline.
“This is how we set up the aim. It was a superb goal in terms of preparation and execution.
“We had a lot of those moments, so we should have easily been 3-0 up at halftime as at Burnley.” We didn’t, however.
“At halftime, we understood we needed to be compact and defend, but when you lose after two minutes, the players realize, ‘Oh, we’re sad, why is it 1-1 and not 3-1 or 4-1 to us?'”
“Unfortunately, this is what happened again.”