Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick’s telling comments on Edinson Cavani after Newcastle draw

Newcastle United v Manchester United: Pictures

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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has praised Edinson Cavani and David De Gea following his side’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Monday. The Red Devils were poor throughout the showdown at St James’ Park, failing to pick up all three points. That means it’s another blow in their race to finish in the Premier League top four, especially with Arsenal flying at present.

Manchester United went into the game against Newcastle looking to build on their two Premier League wins under Rangnick so far.

Yet the Red Devils were disappointing on the day, relying on Cavani to secure a point following Allan Saint-Maximin’s first-half strike.

It was a big moment for the Uruguay international who, prior to the contest at St James’ Park, had scored just one goal all season.

Barcelona have been linked with Cavani in recent weeks, as well as Boca Juniors.

Yet Rangnick has made it clear he values the 34-year-old, labelling him as a ‘dangerous’ striker and singling him out for praise.

“Obviously, we were one goal behind so we needed a goal and we had to take more risks so we brought Edinson Cavani and Jadon Sancho on to play in a 4-1-3-2,” he said.

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“In some situations, including the goal we scored, we were good.

“Edinson has two other good chances to score and with him we had another striker who was dangerous in front of goal.

“Today, it was not a question of formation – it was a question of how aggressive we were.

“It was a question of energy and, in those areas, we need to get better, including what we were doing when we’re in possession of the ball.”

Rangnick appears to have made it clear he wants Cavani to stay given his decision to call the Uruguayan ‘dangerous’.

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And it’ll be interesting to see what happens, especially with the January transfer window creeping closer by the day.

Cavani wasn’t the only highlight for United as they succumbed to yet another poor Premier League result.

De Gea also put in a remarkable showing, with the Spain international producing a sublime late save to keep Newcastle at bay.

At the start of the campaign, many expected the 31-year-old to lose his place in the team to Dean Henderson.

Henderson had ousted De Gea towards the end of last season but, so far, the Spaniard has been able to keep the No 1 jersey.

Against Newcastle he was a shining light and Rangnick said of his late heroics: “I think we were better in some games so far in the past, but it’s also about getting results and again the good thing today was we came back and we got the equaliser.

“In the end it could have been 2-2 – again there were two or three fantastic saves from David De Gea, similar to the game at Norwich, but we also had our chances to score a second goal.

“For sure, David is one of the best goalkeepers in the world – he showed that at Norwich and in the game today.”

United hadn’t played since December 11 going into the Newcastle game, with the coronavirus crisis granting players some extended time off.

Rangnick, however, has refused to use that as an excuse for their flat performance on Tyneside.

“It’s also a question of rhythm, but we shouldn’t look for excuses [about the break in games because of COVID] – we need to get better and get more physical and more precise when we’re in possession of the ball,” he said.

“I was not happy with our performance with the ball or when we had to press and counter-press.

“It’s about sprinting, about energy and what kind of energy mode do we play with the ball and against the ball.

“In three days, we have the next game at home against Burnley and then another, four days later, when we play Wolves at home, so both games are in our own stadium.

“We can do better, I know the players can play better than we did today, but we have to do it and sustainably do it on the pitch in those two home games if we want to get the points.”

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