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Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick changes tune on Cristiano Ronaldo and shares half-time message

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Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick hailed Cristiano Ronaldo after his contribution to Tuesday’s 2-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford. The Red Devils weren’t at their best, but goals from Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes secured much-needed three points.

United were fortunate to enter half-time on level terms after Brighton dominated the early periods of the game, with David de Gea at his athletic best to deny Jakub Moder the opening goal.

But just six minutes after the break, Ronaldo ended his six-game goal drought by firing a powerful 20-yard strike past Robert Sanchez in front of the Stretford End.

The Seagulls were reduced to 10 men moments later after VAR changed Lewis Dunk’s yellow card to a 54th-minute dismissal.

And after United survived a couple of scares, Fernandes netted his first goal in five games on a stoppage-time counter to secure the win against Graham Potter’s impressive side.

JUST IN: Man Utd 2-0 Brighton: Four things learned as Cristiano Ronaldo scores

In recent weeks, Rangnick has been dismissive of Ronaldo’s work rate and critical of his output in front of goal amid his struggles for form.

And it’s unknown whether he would’ve even started against Brighton had Edinson Cavani recovered from the injury that ruled him out against Southampton on Saturday.

But he had changed his tune at the full-time whistle on Tuesday, after the 37-year-old inspired United to victory with a stunning strike.

He told reporters: [He was] very important not only that he scored, but it was an outstanding goal. It was important for all of us, but his overall performance was one of the best since I arrived here.”

READ MORE: Chelsea set for Armando Broja bidding war as star not ruling out exit

There were concerns over Raphael Varane before kick-off, and Rangnick also provided an update on his condition ahead of Sunday’s huge clash with Leeds United at Elland Road.

“On the way from the hotel after dinner and team meeting, he had stomach problems,” Rangnick explained.

“We were hoping to get rid of it with medication, but he did not feel well, and that is why we played with Victor Lindelof instead.

“[But the win was] very important after three draws. This was highly important and another intense game coming up against Leeds, high speed football for 95 minutes and we need to recover and be in form for Elland Road on Sunday.”

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Ruud van Nistelrooy makes next job decision as Man Utd plan coaching appointment

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That decision failed to pay off, however, with the Red Devils sacking Moyes after just 10 months in charge.

After the current West Ham boss came Van Gaal, who arrived with big things expected due to his past success at the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Giggs was hoping to get the Red Devils job himself, which was why he stayed, but both ended up leaving nearly six years ago.

When Jose Mourinho took over, he opted to maintain his close relationship with Rui Faria – who had previously worked under him at clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Fair departed in the summer of 2018, though, with Michael Carrick then given a place on Mourinho’s bench.

Carrick stayed to work under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Norwegian also regularly picking up the thoughts of Phelan and Kieran McKenna throughout his spell in the dugout.

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