'Other teams like Chelsea': Ralf Rangnick makes FA Cup claim following Manchester United's exit last Friday
Ralf Rangnick referenced Chelsea whilst speaking about Manchester United’s dismissal departure from the FA Cup last Friday.
Speaking in his press conference yesterday, Rangnick insisted that his side were not the only Premier League outfit to struggle against lower league opposition over the weekend.
What happened to United?
United’s solemn season continued after they were eliminated by Middlesbrough via a penalty shoot-out at Old Trafford.
Chris Wilder’s men currently occupy seventh in the Championship, whilst the Red Devils, who lined up with Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho, are fourth in the top flight.
But despite the disparity in finances and position in the league ladder, Boro managed to see off their luxury hosts after holding them to a 1-1 draw in normal time.
Anthony Elanga’s ballooned shot over the bar in the spot-kick ceremony handed Wilder another victory at the Theatre of Dreams, having done so with Sheffield United last year.
Other than Boreham Wood’s infamous win over Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest trouncing Leicester City 4-1, United’s exit was certainly one of the fourth round’s biggest upsets.
Yet, Rangnick wanted to highlight the other elite clubs that almost shared the same fate.
“We were not the only ones, by the way,” said the German coach.
“There were quite a few other teams like Chelsea, West Ham and two or three other teams who had problems against even division one, third division teams.
“So, this can happen. But in the end, we didn’t win. We didn’t proceed.”
Almost pickpocketed by Plymouth
Chelsea certainly were given a scare by League 1’s promotion pushers Plymouth Argyle.
9,000 Pilgrims celebrated wildly in the away end of Stamford Bridge after Macaulay Gillesphey’s header sent the green army in front with eight minutes on the clock.
The Champions League holders managed to level just before the interval through Cesar Azpilicueta’s clever flick but had to wait until the first half of additional time to take the lead.
Marcos Alonso finished off a slick move on 105 minutes, although the drama wasn’t over.
Malang Sarr gave away a sloppy penalty with 120 seconds left of the tie remaining.
Up stepped Ryan Hardie to take the pressure kick.
Sadly for Plymouth, his tame effort was pretty easily saved by the master from 12-yards, Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Thomas Tuchel’s group progressed by the skin of their teeth.
West Ham United almost endured an even more seismic loss, after they needed two very late goals to eventually defeat National League North title hopefuls Kidderminster Harriers.
It’s why we love the cup!