Eric Bailly confirms Ralf Rangnick Man Utd appointment is imminent

Eric Bailly has revealed that the Manchester United squad has been informed of the imminent arrival of interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

United have been on the hunt for a new boss following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last week, revealing in a statement their desire to appoint an interim coach before a permanent appointment at the end of the season.

Michael Carrick was placed in caretaker charge following Solskjaer’s dismissal and has overseen a vital Champions League win away at Villarreal and a hard-earned 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Speaking to RMC Sport after that stalemate at Stamford Bridge, Bailly said: “We have been told in the dressing room about the arrival of the new manager.”

Rangnick is expected to take over until the end of the current campaign before heading upstairs at Old Trafford in a consultancy role.

However, he will have his work cut out to maximise this Man Utd squad. The Red Devils battled to earn their point at Chelsea but were uninspiring on the ball.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel revealed post-match that United do not play like a ‘Rangnick team’, one associated with high pressing and intense football.

Rangnick’s first game in charge will likely come at home to Arsenal on Thursday evening. The Red Devils can move to within two points of the Gunners with a win at Old Trafford.

Jorginho must learn to cope with life under superstar spotlight

Jorginho’s performance in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday was certainly ‘all-action’.

The midfielder dropped the ball quite literally to gift Jadon Sancho United’s opener, before scoring from the penalty spot to earn the Blues a point.

For nearly 20 minutes, Jorginho was one of the most talked about players in the game – and not because of his goal. His inability to clear a simple ball as the last man could prove costly to Chelsea in the title race. This was definitely two points dropped rather than one gained.

It was a lowlight that comes at the end of a rather tumultuous time Jorginho. He missed two crucial penalties in Italy’s World Cup qualifying campaign, and the Azzurri could face Portugal in the playoffs to seal what should have been a secure spot in Qatar.

A tough end to a spectacular year for club and country has rapidly seen Jorginho fall out of Ballon d’Or contention, with Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi firmly ahead of him in the proverbial power rankings.

It’s a race that Jorginho shouldn’t have really been in, playing well in two shades of blue but never being a standout for either side, simply fitting into a Venn diagram of Champions League and Euro 2020 winners.

No player will shy away from the grandest individual prize in football if their name is being touted, and the midfielder was hardly brazen about his own chances.

“I don’t want to have too many expectations, but I would be hypocritical if I said I don’t think about [winning the 2021 Ballon d’Or],” he told GloboEsporte earlier this month.

“It’s great if it happens, but if it doesn’t, I won’t complain. I keep my feet on the ground and I focus on something else, I’ve already won the best player of the year by UEFA.

“It’s not up to me to say if I should win the Ballon d’Or, but it would be an incentive for other players, to show that not only goals are taken into account.”

But the public backing by from Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel and international teammate Giorgio Chiellini go beyond ‘I know him so of course I will say nice things about him’ endorsements.

“Jorginho deserves to win the Ballon d’Or. He is a very intelligent player and it is a pleasure to be his coach. He has a great vision of football,” Tuchel said in October.

The fires have been stoked from Jorginho’s entourage – whether that’s himself or those around him – and now he must deal with those consequences under an intense spotlight usually only reserved for goal scorers.

He probably won’t win the Ballon d’Or this year, but that’s the pedestal Jorginho has placed himself on and now is the time to respond – if that’s the level he believes he’s at, he needs to focus on winning next year’s award instead.

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Thomas Tuchel ‘very happy’ with Chelsea performance in Man Utd draw

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has said he was “very happy” with his side’s performance in their 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

The Blues dominated the ball and conceded just three shots during the entire contest, while having over 20 themselves.

Despite this, they only came away with a point, largely due to Jorginho gifting United a goal with a poor first touch just after half time.

Speaking after the match, Tuchel insisted that he was happy with what he had seen from Chelsea.

“Happy with the performance. I saw huge effort, big intensity. We had so many ball recoveries in the opponent’s half. We put the pressure up high, we controlled the counter attacks before they started,” he told Sky Sports.

“We were brave and courageous. When they defend deep you need the first goal to gain the confidence to have follow-ups and goals and big chances.

“If you don’t score you always run a bit behind because you feel you are the stronger team, you play in the opponents’ half. We had two or three big chances that we should have used but in general, I am very happy.

“I was a bit surprised, because we had so many ball recoveries, that we did not make it from these ball wins to clearer chances.”

The game was likely United’s last before the arrival of interim manager Ralf Rangnick, whom Tuchel is familiar with from his time managing in the Bundesliga.

Many of his ideas were also influenced by the so-called ‘Rangnick school’, but the Chelsea boss was keen to point out that United are some way off expressing this on the pitch.

When asked whether the Red Devils played like a ‘Rangnick team’, Tuchel replied with a wry smile: “No, no, not at all.”

The draw means Chelsea remain top of the Premier League table, but Man City’s win over West Ham on Sunday means their lead is now just one point.

“We cannot be surprised that this happened. We played such good games against Burnley and Man Utd and feel disappointed because we think did by far enough and pushed the limits to win these games,” Tuchel continued.

“Over a long season you drop points and you dig in. And you try and steal them back when someone steals them from you.

“We’re in the middle of the race and this is where we want to be.”

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David de Gea addresses ‘strange’ Man Utd managerial situation

David de Gea has admitted that it is a “bit strange” that the Manchester United squad are destined to work under two interim managers this season.

Michael Carrick is currently in caretaker charge at Old Trafford following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but Ralf Rangnick is expected to take over until the end of the season imminently.

Despite the uncertainty in the dugout, results have picked up with Solskjaer gone. A 1-1 smash-and-grab draw at Chelsea on Sunday followed a vital Champions League win over Villarreal in midweek, meaning Carrick is likely to end his temporary tenure unbeaten.

The Blues enjoyed the lion’s share of possession at the weekend and restricted their opponents to just three attempts at goal while firing off 24 themselves. De Gea was kept busy too, making five saves in total, including two inside the first five minutes to keep his side in it.

Speaking after the game, De Gea admitted he was concerned about the amount of chances his side allowed at Stamford Bridge.

“I was feeling danger for nearly the whole game but we defended well. They missed big chances as well and they gave us a chance and we score,” he told Sky Sports.

“It’s not enough to draw but at the moment, the way we are, it’s a good point.”

De Gea also addressed the club’s managerial situation, confessing that the circumstances had been challenging in recent times.

“It’s a bit strange but we are professional players, we need to be training properly, playing properly. That’s Manchester United, let’s see what happens in the future,” he said.

“But at the moment, we are a team and we feel like are all together, fighting for the same things.

When asked specifically about Rangnick’s imminent arrival, he added: “Let’s see what happens. Now we are with Carrick. He’s done good. We won against Villarreal, we got a draw here today. Of course, we are still conceding many chances but the team is together.

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Twitter reacts as Manchester United snatch draw at Chelsea

For all of Chelsea’s dominance in England and Europe in 2021, Blues fans are still frightened by one opponent regardless of the soap opera that clouds them – Manchester United.

The Red Devils made the trip to west London in what’s expected to be the last game before the Ralf Rangnick era begins.

And United fans arriving at Stamford Bridge will have been greeted with a shock – Michael Carrick had dropped Cristiano Ronaldo.

Some Ronaldo fans (what a weird concept, eh) weren’t too happy with Carrick’s decision…

While United fans were worried about Ronaldo’s absence, their Chelsea counterparts were concerned about coming up against their arch nemesis – referee Anthony Taylor.

Chelsea dominated the first half as United sat off, with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Antonio Rudiger both going close to breaking the deadlock.

The visitors were attempting to play on the counter attack but were continually undone by *checks notes* their own star player, Bruno Fernandes…

The Red Devils made it to half time without conceding a goal – a notable improvement on recent games.

And just after half time, United got the break they were looking for – Jorginho’s loose touch allowed Jadon Sancho to run through on goal, and the boyhood Chelsea fan slotted the ball under Edouard Mendy to put the visitors in front.

Sure, the run and finish by Sancho were beautiful, but surely Jorginho just has to welly it and Chelsea would have been fine, right?

Chelsea now had to find a goal with their backs against the walls. Step forward, Timo Werner…

The score remained Chelsea 0-1 Manchester United.

With just over an hour on the clock, Carrick finally introduced Ronaldo, but only minutes after his arrival, Taylor awarded Chelsea a penalty after Aaron Wan-Bissaka tripped Thiago Silva – and Jorginho made amends from the spot

Thomas Tuchel’s men piled on the pressure but nearly threw it away when Mendy passed straight to Fred – only for the Brazil international to kindly chip it back into his grateful arms.

After seven minutes of stoppage time, the ball dropped from the heavens to an unmarked Antonio Rudiger in the United penalty area…

…over. Full time: Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United.

And breathe.