Rangnick accepts outsiders tag

Rangnick accepts outsiders tag

Published Apr. 14, 2011 10:37 a.m. ET

Schalke boss Ralf Rangnick has labelled his side "clear outsiders" for their Champions League semi-final against Manchester United.

Schalke followed up their stunning 5-2 win at Inter Milan last week with an impressive 2-1 win back in Germany on Wednesday to set up a last-four clash with Sir Alex Ferguson's men.

The Gelsenkirchen club, ninth in the Bundesliga, have saved their best performances for Europe this season, but Rangnick accepts they will have to up their level even further against United.

He said: "A semi-final in the Champions League is something extraordinary for all of us and against Manchester United we will start in a similar position to how we began against Inter; as clear outsiders.


"But again, anything can happen and if it all goes to plan we can reach the final.

"First we have to produce some good results in the Bundesliga to give us a boost: with every positive result our Champions League chances improve."

Rangnick was full of praise for his defence after they repelled a potent Inter attack needing goals to overturn the deficit from the San Siro.

Thiago Motta did score for the Nerazzurri but his goal was sandwiched by efforts from veteran Raul and Benedikt Howedes.

Rangnick added: "Last week we won the game in attack, playing brave offensive football and laying the foundation for this match. Today the team defended outstandingly.

"We allowed them maybe two chances from open play and if you look at Inter's attacking options, you know what my boys have done.

"The goal we conceded came from a set piece and if we had been a bit more clinical we could have won by an even bigger margin."

Inter boss Leonardo felt his side simply ran out of steam.

He said: "Since I arrived in December I've asked a lot of the players, ignoring injuries and fatigue.

"We worked hard and I want to underline that my players have given a lot over the past few months, in at times difficult situations. We arrived at the decisive stage of the season with a few problems and that's a pity.

"The key is to be in the right shape at the right time.

"At times we got caught up other people's expectations and did not perform at our best. We were punished for it in the first leg."