Rangnick: ‘We found out our level’

Schalke manager Ralf Rangnick has paid tribute to Champions League semi-final conquerors Manchester United for their 6-1 aggregate win.United ran away with the two-legged tie with a 4-1 triumph at Old Trafford on Wednesday to add to their 2-0 victory in Germany last Tuesday, and Rangnick had no complaints that his men were outplayed.

“I have to congratulate Manchester United – over the two games they were the better side,” Rangnick said after Wednesday’s game.

“As soon as we went behind (in the first leg) it was difficult for us.”

Rangnick said United’s class was evident in their depth, as Ferguson rested nine starting XI players from their English Premier League loss to Arsenal on Sunday for the Champions League affair.

“If you look at the comparison of their so-called second string, the quality of their players stands out,” Rangnick said.

“(Dimitar) Berbatov, Anderson performed well – they’re the sort of players that most Bundesliga teams would be happy with.”

“We have to admit we could have gone out in the quarter-final against Inter – tonight we found out our level.”

Schalke’s attentions will turn to the Bundesliga, in which Rangnick’s side are sitting in 10th spot on the table with two games remaining.

Rangnick addressed the transfer speculation surrounding goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who only added to his burgeoning reputation with a commanding performance in the first leg.

Neuer is rumoured to be headed for Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich despite interest from around Europe, with Hannover shot-stopper Ron-Robert Zieler – a former Manchester United trainee – said to be lined up as the Germany number one’s replacement at Schalke.

“Regarding Neuer there is nothing new,” Rangnick told SAT1.

“He has a contract and I hope that he stays. We don’t think about Zieler because we have Neuer.”