Interim manager Ralf Rangnick has disagreed with Declan Rice’s suggestion that a draw should would have been a fair outcome of Manchester United’s clash with West Ham United at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
United, just as time was running out, netted a last-gasp winner thanks to substitute Marcus Rashford’s predatory instincts in the final minute of stoppage time, sealing a huge 1-0 win in the race for a top-four finish.
The England international, who had stepped off the bench to replace Anthony Elanga just past the hour mark, turned the ball home from close quarters, tapping home Edinson Cavani’s low pass across the face of goal.
It sparked wild and jubilant scenes inside Old Trafford, both on the pitch and in the stands, as the victory moved United above West Ham and into the top-four for the first time since October.
Despite clear-cut chances for both sides being few and far between, Rangnick, who has now overseen six wins in his first ten games in charge in all competitions, believes his side deserved to secure all three points.
“If you score in the last second of the game that is the best type of win, a clean sheet,” Rangnick told Sky Sports. “I think in the end we deserved to win. It takes patience to play West Ham.
“A few moments at the end I wished we would have passed the ball instead of shooting from wherever.
“Bearing in mind we played a few days ago against Brentford, the team looked physically good.
“We knew it would take patience, the way we played defensively, won balls back, I was really happy with that.
“I am very pleased the three subs prepared the goal and scored the goal. All were involved. That makes it even more important.”
Hammers midfielder Rice, who won plenty of plaudits from United’s supporters during the contest, amid the Reds’ interest in his signature, disagreed with Rangnick’s assessment, insisting each side earning a point would have been a fairer outcome.
He told BBC Sport: “I think a draw was a fair result. There weren’t many clear chances in the game.
“But to be naïve like that and give away a goal in the last 20 seconds is devastating.
“When they were pushing players forward we are such a counter-attacking side we still had the energy to go forward. It was a real kick in the teeth to concede that late.”