United concede 4+ goals in 4+ league games for first time since 1970-71

One of Ralf Rangnick’s main tasks as Manchester United interim manager has been to try and tighten the side up defensively.

The side he inherited from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had already let in at least four goals in losses to Leicester, Liverpool and Watford.

Rangnick, admittedly aided by a kinder fixture schedule, had largely done that before the weekend Manchester derby defeat.

That 4-1 defeat made it the fourth time this season United have conceded four or more goals, as was pointed out in the Times.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It is the first time that has happened in over 50 years, since the 1970-71 season.

That season, United finished 8th in the First Division as legendary manager Matt Busby came back to the club in the December of the campaign, taking over from Wilf McGuinness.

It would be fair to say that United were exposed by the first elite side they have played who are at the top of their game.

Atletico Madrid could have scored more in the first half of the Champions League encounter, but they are not at full tilt right now, and United got away with it.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

There was no such luck against City and now Rangnick has to rediscover some solidity ahead of huge games against Tottenham and Atletico to come.

The confidence of the defence must be in tatters again, although having Raphael Varane back as soon as possible would be a big boost.

Varane has not played any part in any of the four thrashings which have set the unwanted 50-year record and that is no coincidence.

On the back of the 5-0 thumping at Liverpool, Varane came into the team at Tottenham and helped United to a clean sheet in a 3-0 win and a similar impact at the weekend would be very welcome indeed.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.