Ralf Rangnick Reacts To Controversial Middlesbrough Equaliser

Ralf Rangnick has claimed that Middlesbrough’s equaliser in their penalty-shootout win over Manchester United should not have stood.

Boro travelled to Old Trafford with United in poor form and despite the Red Devils showing vast improvement, the Championship side still managed to inflict further misery on Rangnick.

After Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty early on, Jadon Sancho gave the hosts the lead in the 25th minute. United would miss a host of gilt-edged chances before Matt Crooks netted a controversial leveller just after the hour mark.

In the build-up to the equaliser substitute Duncan Watmore clearly handled the ball, but due to a recent change in the handball law the goal stood. Boro then managed to hold on through extra time to force penalties, with Anthony Elanga’s miss in sudden death sending United out of the FA Cup.

After the game Rangnick revealed his frustration that Middlesbrough’s goal was not chalked off.

“In the end, the goal should never have been given. It’s incredible that it stood. It was a clear handball. I would not have needed VAR, it should have been seen by the referee himself but the VAR should not have given the goal,” he said.

“As far as I know, the referee and the VAR decided that it was not intentional, it was coincidental. How can it be coincidental if the hand is up there and the ball is touching his hand and he controlled the ball with his hand? I don’t see how this can be coincidental.”

Boro boss Chris Wilder was equally surprised to see the goal stand.

“We rode our luck and took our chances,” he said. “The decisions that are made through VAR have changed since I left the Premier League – I thought straight away it was handball. I thought it would be chalked out and delighted it wasn’t.

“The manager of Manchester United will be scratching his head at how they’ve not gone through. We got a couple of breaks and we took advantage of it.”

Author: Arthur Fox