‘No chance, it’s done’: Rio Ferdinand says Manchester United’s top four hopes are OVER after defeat at Arsenal and says the team have ‘lost the will to fight’ following a demoralising season and got WORSE since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked
- Manchester United lost 3-1 at Arsenal in a major blow for their top four hopes
- Rio Ferdinand believes United’s chances of making Champions League are over
- Former United defender bemoaned the lack of fight in Ralf Rangnick’s side
- Ferdinand said United have regressed since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked
Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United’s hopes of finishing in the top four and making the Champions League are dead and buried after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal.
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick appeared to agree with the former United defender as the Gunners moved six points ahead of United, with a game still in hand, following their win at the Emirates Stadium.
Asked if United’s hopes of making the top four were over, Rangnick said: ‘Yeah, pretty sure. For me, even before the game that was not very likely but after today’s result the top four is gone.’
Manchester United suffered a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal despite Cristiano Ronaldo scoring
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand believes United’s top four chances are now over
Ferdinand, speaking on BT Sport, then launched into a blisteringly honest critique of United’s failings under Rangnick, who replaced the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer back in December.
He said: ‘To be brutally honest, Ralf Rangnick has come in and it’s gotten worse since Ole left. There’s no way United are going to get into the top four now. No chance, it’s done.
‘This is not a Man United club that I recognise. They have lost the will to fight, there is no spark. Obviously, it’s hard to have a spark but you’d like a bit of fire.
‘Maybe it’s just not in his [Rangnick’s] character or his personality which you have to understand.
‘But this is a low point for Man United. You sit here before the game hoping Man United are going to come in and win.
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick reacts during the club’s latest setback at the Emirates
Ferdinand argued that United had regressed since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked last year
‘But you have to be honest, I’m on my way in today for this game and you’re in the WhatsApp groups with your mates talking and you’re thinking I can’t put a case forward for us to get a result.’
Ferdinand was asked whether it would be preferable not to qualify for Europe next season in order for incoming manager Erik ten Hag to rebuild the squad and implement his philosophy – as Mikel Arteta at Arsenal has done this season.
He said: ‘You finish where you finish and you have to deal with it. You can’t pick and choose. You can’t say “oh I want to finish in this or that side of the European places”.
‘It doesn’t happen. Wherever you finish, you deal with it.
‘But listen, the new manager is now in place, start building, Give him time, give him space, be patient. Give him the right tools and the right resources around him to try and become a successful club. It needs time.’
Bruno Fernandes reacts with dismay after seeing his second-half penalty strike the post
Jadon Sancho apologies to the travelling United fans following their latest defeat
United made the worst possible start at the Emirates when Nuno Tavares was allowed a simple tap-in for his first Arsenal goal after David de Gea made a reaction save to deny Bukayo Saka.
They doubled their lead from the penalty spot courtesy of Saka, after a goal from Eddie Nketiah was disallowed for offside just after Saka was fouled in the area.
United halved the deficit shortly afterwards through Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes spurned a golden chance to equalise when he rolled a tame penalty against the post after the break.
A 30-yard rocket by Granit Xhaka sealed the three points for Arsenal as United were consigned to another demoralising defeat.
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