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Rangnick plays peacemaker to quell Scholes’ claim of dressing room atmosphere ‘disaster’

Ralf Rangnick was compelled to quell talk of dressing room unrest whilst being candid in dismissing Manchester United’s chances of finishing in the top four after crashing out to rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The 3-1 loss was accentuated by a Bruno Fernandes penalty miss, one that should have been taken by Cristiano Ronaldo but interim boss Rangnick revealed post-match the latter told him he “didn’t feel well enough” to take the spot-kick. The sentiment was perfectly understandable considering what the Portuguese ace had undergone regarding the recent demise of his twin baby boy.

3 penultimate Arsenal goals – Nuno Tavares’ first for the Gunners, a Bukayo Saka penalty and Granit Xhaka’s fine strike – were all that was needed to secure the 3 points for the Gunners, who had actually at one stage were startled after Ronaldo had managed to halve the deficit with his 100th Premier League goal.

United’s legendary former midfielder Paul Scholes potentially exposed the path down the rabbit hole speaking as a television pundit when he said:

“It is an absolute mess.

“It is a disaster of a dressing room. I had a quick chat with Jesse (Lingard) the other day and I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that the dressing room is just a disaster.”

However, when the quotes were presented to Rangnick in the aftermath of the defeat, he immediately refuted the claims:

“I don’t know, you have to ask Jesse Lingard if you have this information.

“Obviously after games like today or the games at Liverpool or Everton, there is massive disappointment in the locker room for sure.

“This is normal. It would be rather a problem if that was different so this is for me normal. I think the whole group, they get on reasonable with each other.

“I’m not daring to say they get on well with each other but I don’t see that there is an issue with regard to the atmosphere in the locker room.”

Whatever the actual state of the dressing room, the result left United six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal having played a game more with Rangnick convinced that Champions League qualification is now beyond reach.

“Look at the table and the teams with Tottenham and Arsenal, I think it is not very realistic to dream and speak about the top four,” he said.

Asked about why Fernandes took the penalty and not Ronaldo, Rangnick said, “It’s between the both of them.

“Both are penalty-takers. Cristiano told me after the game that he didn’t feel well enough and that’s why Bruno took it. In the end it was about two or three yards a little bit further to the right.”

While United slumped to another crucial defeat, Arsenal hastened their pace in their rejuvenation as the Gunners bounced back with commendable resilience from three consecutive defeats with a win at Chelsea and followed that up with victory over a rival contending for a critical top-four placement.

Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia