Manchester United responded to Ralph Rangink’s call to end the games with a 2-0 win over Brighton.
Ranginik will be happy with three points but will be even happier with the style of performance – especially in the second half.
Like Southampton’s match on Saturday, United missed early chances before halftime.
But, inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo, the Red Devils began to dominate and Ronaldo ended the 587-minute goal drought and started scoring in the 50th minute.
Ranginik will be smiling to himself as it was created under the pressure of United – Scott McTomine took possession of Yves Bissiouma and Ronaldo picked up the loose ball before finishing the house brilliantly.
Moments later, Anthony Elanga caught Lewis Dunk while napping, the ball was pulled out of the defender and brought down – Dunk received a red card after consultation with the VAR monitor.
He gave United a comfortable cushion but they kept pressing for a second and would have got it had it not been for a brilliant Robert Sanchez save Ronaldo’s close range header.
After the draw against Southampton, Ranginik sought to improve the mental strength of his squad with the help of psychologist Sasha Lens, while maintaining the top spot in his priorities.
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The German pointed to the fact that his team has won only half of the matches in which he has scored the first goal.
And although United missed out on opportunities to make the game more comfortable, Ranginak at least responded to his call to “stick to the game plan, stay solid and stay strategically disciplined.”
In doing so, he eliminated Brighton’s threat with a long-range effort from Jacob Moder, who hit the bar only when the Siegels came close to scoring.
Despite the Brighton players being pushed forward and the game open, United maintained their form well – avoiding repeating defensive errors, Rangink complained after Saturday’s draw.
And in the press, United have already ended the game.
Under pressure from goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, he went straight to Ronaldo, who only stopped Fernandez to deprive the midfielder of a pointless range.
But unlike in previous matches, United did not let the missed chances affect them and when Fernandez scored in the 96th minute, he made no mistake – tricking the keeper by claiming to shoot. After cheating on Sanchez, he went ahead.
Ranginik hopes his players will gain confidence from the display that beat a productive Brighton team that had lost just four times before.
But the big test of the squad’s mental strength will surely come in the next few games, which will include tours to Atletico Madrid and Etihad.
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