Michael Carrick said after Manchester United held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge that Ralf Rangnick had no influence on his decision to name Cristiano Ronaldo to the bench.
Rangnick is expected to take over at Old Trafford on an interim basis this week, with a consultant role to follow from June 2022, but Carrick insisted the German had no say in the selection of his team against Chelsea. The keeper opted for a counter-punch approach against the league leaders and was quick to downplay Gary Neville’s suggestion that the idea of leaving Ronaldo out came from the new United manager.
“It’s not, no,” Carrick said. “We came here with a plan. I kind of knew how Chelsea would play and we wanted to stop Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s assists. There have been a few changes to refresh it and that’s what we decided to do today. We almost succeeded.
Carrick, who became a keeper after Ole Gunnar Solskjær was sacked last week, is uncertain whether Rangnick will be in charge when United host Arsenal on Thursday.
“I have no 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 languish in eighth place, delivered a disciplined performance after a difficult week. Carrick was happy with their effort and he was happy with Jadon Sancho, who gave the visitors the lead after Jorginho failed to handle a long punt from Bruno Fernandes.
Chelsea rallied when Aaron Wan-Bissaka awarded a penalty with a foul on Thiago Silva – Carrick questioned whether the referee, Anthony Taylor, was right in pointing the spot – and Thomas Tuchel praised Jorginho for having made up for his mistake by scoring 12 yards.
“It’s very unusual, a mistake like this, and for us in general to concede a goal like this,” said the Chelsea manager. “Especially with Jorgi. He misjudged the situation and was greatly disturbed by the lights and ultimately did not see the ball. It takes a lot of courage and personality not to be affected in the game and to have the courage to take the penalty for the equalizer.
Chelsea’s lead over Manchester City is reduced to one point, but Tuchel was happy with their performance. “It’s hard to imagine that you could lose points because we were the better team,” said the German. “We are disappointed, but we do not regret. I told the team that I was happy with the performance.