Ralf Rangnick, according to Michael Carrick, had no role in the decision to drop Ronaldo.

‘We tried to block the passes to Jorginho,’ Carrick says.
‘We were the better team,’ says Thomas Tuchel of Chelsea.

Ralf Rangnick had no effect on Michael Carrick’s decision to name Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench after Manchester United held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Rangnick is due to take over as interim manager at Old Trafford this week, with a consultant post starting in June 2022, although Carrick stressed that the German had no input into his lineup selection against Chelsea. The caretaker used a counter-punching technique against the league leaders, dismissing Gary Neville’s claim that the decision to leave Ronaldo out came from United’s incoming manager.

“That’s not the case, no,” Carrick said. “We came here with a plan. I kind of knew how Chelsea would play and we wanted to stop the passes through to Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. There were a few changes to freshen it up and it’s what we decided to go with today. We almost pulled it off.”

Carrick, who took over as interim manager when Ole Gunnar  Solskjær  was fired last week, is unsure if Rangnick will be in control when United face Arsenal on Thursday.

“I haven’t got any more news for you,” he said. “I was focused on the game. I’m sure I’ll be updated and we’ll see what happens in the next few days.”

United, who are currently in eighth place, put forth a composed performance after a difficult week. Carrick praised his team’s effort and praised Jadon Sancho for putting the visitors ahead after Jorginho failed to deal with a long kick from Bruno Fernandes.

Chelsea rallied after Aaron Wan-Bissaka fouled Thiago Silva and gave away a penalty — Carrick questioned whether the referee, Anthony Taylor, was correct in awarding the penalty – and Thomas Tuchel hailed Jorginho for making amends by scoring from 12 yards.

“It’s very unusual, a mistake like this, and for us in general to concede a goal like this,” Chelsea’s manager said. “Especially with Jorgi. He misjudged the situation and was heavily disturbed from the lights and did not see the ball in the end. It takes a lot of courage and personality not to be affected in the match and to have the courage to take the penalty for the equaliser.”

Chelsea’s advantage over Manchester City has shrunk to just one point, but Tuchel was pleased with his team’s performance. “It’s hard to imagine you can drop points because we were the better team,” the German said. “We’re disappointed, but we have no regrets. I told the team I was happy with the performance.”

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