This regeneration at Old Trafford occurred after the wake at the Etihad.
According to Ralf Ragnick, the atmosphere around Manchester United after their 4-1 derby thrashing at local rivals City was so solemn that it felt like a funeral.
Rangnick now understands the huge emotional swings that come with being engaged with the world’s largest club, having gone from despair to elation in a week.
Rangnick was asked if United’s renowned forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, could drive them to Champions League success after his amazing hat-trick earned a crucial win in the race for fourth place.
“This is what I appreciate about this club,” Rangnick remarked, a sardonic smirk on his face.
“I almost felt like we were at a funeral on Sunday, that everything was already dead and the end of the decade or anything.”
“Now, after a 3-2 win over Tottenham, we’re talking about our chances of winning the Champions League.”
“Ask me that question if we make it to the Champions League final.” I don’t think it makes sense right now.
“Today was the Premier League, and it was virtually a final for us.” It would have been nearly impossible for us to finish fourth if we hadn’t won.
“We’re not in the best possible situation right now, but we’re still in the race.”
“We are well aware that we cannot afford to lose any more points, thus we must win practically all of the games.”
Despite his continuing brilliance, Ronaldo will not always be able to rescue United out of a hole at the age of 37, with his future beyond the conclusion of this season still uncertain despite having a year left on his deal.
Rangnick was hesitant to say if he thought Ronaldo could still play a role for United next season, despite the fact that the German has moved into a consultant job at the club.
“Cristiano made the difference, but now is not the time to speculate on what might happen in the following 15 to 16 months,” Rangnick added.
“What matters to me is what happens in the next two or three months, until the end of May.”
Following a breathtaking 25-yard strike, Ronaldo – who missed the derby defeat due to a hip injury – produced a first-time finish for his second and finished his hat-trick with a wonderful header to seal the victory.
Despite the excitement at the finish, there is no relief for United, who face Spanish champions Atletico Madrid on Tuesday for a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals.
With the tie tied at 1-1 and United having to improve on a disappointing first-leg performance, Ronaldo will need to be at his domineering best once more.
“On Tuesday, we have the next final to try to go to the Champions League quarter-finals,” Rangnick added.
“Everyone at this club wants to be a part of the Champions League season following Tuesday – fans, players, staff members, everyone.”
“We’d like to go to the following round and the quarter-finals.”
United was without Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw due to Covid, while Scott McTominay was sidelined with a calf injury.
Rangnick responded when asked if they would be available to face Atletico: “With Scott, I hope so, although he had some muscular problems with his calf.”
“Luke will hopefully be back in training by Tuesday, and Bruno will have to wait and see.” It’ll most likely be a last-minute race with him.”
Ronaldo is one player they cannot afford to be without.
Forget cryotherapy or ice baths: with Covid still affecting the squad, United would be wise to isolate Ronaldo until kickoff. They have little hope without him.