Man Utd news: Ralf Rangnick reflects on ‘shocking’ decision in turbulent win at Leeds | Football | Sport

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has explained why he substituted Paul Pogba in Sunday’s 4-2 win against Leeds United. Pogba was brilliant at Elland Road and his second-half withdrawal was met by mass confusion and frustration amongst the United fanbase.

The 28-year-old midfielder has impressed many since returning from three months on the sidelines at the start of February, but his display in West Yorkshire was the best yet.

Pogba completed all five of his attempted take-ons, all three of his long balls, won six ground duels and created two chances as he continues to showcase what United could lose for free this summer.

But on 67 minutes, Rangnick brought him off for Fred, much to the disagreement of many viewers.

But just three minutes later, the call explained itself as the Brazilian fired a ferocious finish past Illan Meslier to blunt Leeds’ comeback and restore United’s lead.

JUST IN: Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa admits ‘impossible not to be worried’

On commentary for Sky Sports, Gary Neville admitted he was ‘shocked and surprised’ by the German coach’s decision to pull Pogba off.

But the ex-Red Devils defender praised Rangnick for making the bold move which ultimately secured all three points for his side.

He said: “I’m shocked and surprised that Paul Pogba’s gone off. I’m shocked and surprised that Fred has just gone and done that, but it’s a brilliant goal. It’s a really good moment for Fred and Ralf Rangnick.”

And Rangnick has since explained himself, suggesting he identified signs of fatigue from Pogba after the hour-mark, which is why he decided to replace him with an energetic player in Fred.

“He [Pogba] did well in the first half, but he didn’t play from the wing,” Rangnick explained to reporters.

“He played as one of the two eights together with Bruno [Fernandes] – on the wing, we played with Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho.

“He [Pogba] did great, but after 60 minutes, I think he was a little bit tired, which is normal after such a long injury break.

“And it was great to bring on two energetic players like Fred and Anthony Elanga.”

READ MORE: Man Utd ace Anthony Elanga taunts Leeds fans with full-time gesture

Rangnick also brought Elanga on for Jesse Lingard simultaneously, and the teenage Swedish winger scored United’s fourth of the afternoon.

So given the impact of all his substitutes, including Raphael Varane, who entered in the 85th-minute to secure the ship, it’s difficult to argue with the 63-year-old’s knowhow.

He will also have one eye on Wednesday’s trip to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of United’s Champions League round of 16 tie.

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