Interim Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has set a UEFA Champions League (UCL) target for him and his players after their exit from the competition at the hands of Spanish champions Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night. The Red Devils boss talked about the target needed to make the competition again next season via the Premier League in his post-match press conference after the Champions League exit to Atletico Madrid.
Rangnick told reporters that Manchester United will have to beat rivals Arsenal and also win the majority of their nine games if they want to qualify for next season’s Champions League. As things stand in the Premier League, Manchester United are one point and one place below Arsenal who have three games in hand on them. Leader Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are the first three teams on the Premier League table in that order and they are on course to finish in the top four and qualify for next season’s Champions League in the process, while Arsenal and Manchester United are in fourth and fifth positions respectively.
A lot of teams are in the fight for the aforementioned fourth spot alongside Arsenal and Manchester United as that is the only guarantee of Champions League football next season for those teams. The other teams in the fight are Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Manchester United had the option of winning the Champions League title this season to qualify for the competition next season, but that will no longer be possible after they were dumped out of the competition by Atletico Madrid via a 2-1 aggregate defeat. The first leg of their last 16 tie ended in a 1-1 draw before Brazilian star Renan Lodi scored the only goal of the second leg to send Atletico Madrid into the quarterfinals.