CL qualification finally gone
Shame robs United of last hope
Ralf Rangnick started by leading the fighting English giant Manchester United into the Champions League. Since a bad slap against the middle-class club Brighton & Hove Albion, it has been clear: the mission has failed.
Chelsea got a little out of step in the final meters of the Premier League season. The best English football club, coached by Thomas Tuchel, got no more than a 2-2 (0-0) lead against Wolverhampton Wanderers on the 36th matchday after a lead of two goals and after three games in a row without a win, won the Champions League the qualification still not in the bag.
Manchester United, on the other hand, have played their last mathematical chance for the best class away. Ralf Rangnick’s team lost to Brighton & Hove Albion 0: 4 (0: 1) and can still qualify for the Europa League at best. Former Ingolstadt player Pascal Groß scored to make it 3-0 (57th). Rangnick, who will be responsible for the Austrian national team in the future, has only won 11 of his 28 matches as United manager.
The Champions League qualification was Rangnick’s declared goal, which took over the team, which before the season had been strengthened with ex-Dortmund Jadon Sancho and the returning superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, in November in an 8th place from Ole Gunnar Solskjær. “We want to finish in fourth place in the league, that’s the highest goal we can achieve,” Rangnick announced in February. “We will definitely reach the Champions League, but it will not be easy.” Now the mission has finally failed.
There was malice to the record champions of England football idol Gary Lineker. The former world-class player wrote on Twitter: “Good in heaven! Brighton play fabulous football. In contrast, this could have been United’s worst performance of the season – and that says something.”
After the season, Erik ten Haag will arrange for a rebuild. Rangnick had already warned his successor on the Manchester United bench: “You do not even need glasses to see and analyze where the problems lie,” said the 63-year-old former coach and sporting director of the Bundesliga football club RB Leipzig. It is not enough to make small changes. “In medicine, one would say it is open heart surgery. If everyone recognizes that this is going to happen and cooperates, it does not have to take years.”
Tuchel is happy with “perspective”
Romelu Lukaku (56th / penalty, 58th) had brought Chelsea, who are still number three in the table, to the front. Trincao (79 ‘) and Conor Coady (90’ + 7 ‘) spoiled what was actually a very positive Saturday for the Blues, with Timo Werner and Antonio Rüdiger in the starting 11 and Kai Havertz coming in as a replacement.
Subject to approval from the Premier League and the British government, the big club from London goes to an investor group led by the American entrepreneur Todd Boehly, who watched the match against Wolverhampton at the stadium, for 4.25 billion pounds (about 5 billion euros).
Britain had frozen the assets of former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich due to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine – including the top football club, which has therefore been for sale since March. The government will ensure that the Russian oligarch does not personally benefit from the sale.
“It gives us a perspective,” Tuchel said before the game against the Wolves: “Hopefully things will develop as quickly as possible.” Under the new owner, squad planning for the upcoming season can be intensified and the stadium at Stamford Bridge also needs to be refurbished.
Meanwhile, Watford FC are the second relegated club after Norwich City. The former club of pop icon Elton John can no longer reach the savings bank after 0: 1 (0: 1) in Crystal Palace with three games left.