Ralf Rangnick admitted he was embarrassed after watching his Man Utd side get thoroughly outplayed as Liverpool returned to the top of the table with a 4-0 win.
United barely got a touch of the ball as Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah put Liverpool in control before half-time, and though a change of formation briefly helped Man Utd improve after the break, further goals from Sadio Mane and Salah finished them off.
It was another chastening result for Man Utd, who have lost 9-0 on aggregate to Liverpool this season, and have now conceded more goals than relegation-threatened Burnley.
Sympathy for Man Utd, the 13-year-old to Liverpool’s ruthless Owen
Too often at Anfield, they appeared to lack the required fight or effort to pursue their target of a top-four finish.
“I don’t think they have mentally checked out, it is just a different level,” Rangnick said. “(Liverpool) have better players than we have and this was really reflected by the result today.
“There will be a rebuild for sure, that was obvious in the first three or four weeks for me. For us it is extremely embarrassing as a coaching staff to sit here and have a press conference like this. We just have to admit they are better than us.”
Fred was missing with injury and Scott McTominay fit enough only for the bench, so Rangnick included Phil Jones in a makeshift back-three, but then saw his plans hampered again when Paul Pogba limped off with only eight minutes gone having suffered a calf injury.
But though the injuries played a role, Rangnick admitted they were not the whole cause.
“We have to be critical with ourselves,” Rangnick said. “The way we played in the first 45 minutes was in no area what we wanted to see or play. Since we had all our defensive midfielders not available we decided to go with the back five… I don’t think the first half had anything to do with our formation.
Ralf has delivered his #LIVMUN verdict. #MUFC | #PL
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 19, 2022
“The way we conceded the first goal was definitely not part of our game-plan. It affected our confidence. The first half was not good enough.
“We changed from a back five to a back four. The first 25 minutes of the second half was much better but the story of those 25 minutes was we didn’t score a goal. The third goal was on the blacklist of what we shouldn’t do against Liverpool.”
United’s cumulative 9-0 defeat against Liverpool was the second-worst in the club’s history, only surpassed by the 11-0 over two games they suffered against Sunderland in 1892-93.
And Rangnick thinks the club could bring in as many as “ten new players” in the summer as they look to rebuild Man Utd.
The German continued: “If you analyse the situation it is not difficult… for me, it is clear there will be six, seven, eight, maybe ten new players. Before you sign those players you need to be aware how you want to play.”
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