United were below par again, but they did just enough to beat Aston Villa 1-0 to reach the FA Cup fourth round.
Villa was certainly the best time at Old Trafford, and had a hard-ruled second-half goal from Danny Ings, but will regret his lack of clinical advantage.
Rangnick’s side came into the game after a poor performance to lose against Wolves last time around, and there was cause for concern once again.
United made a quick start to the game, however, and earned their reward in the eighth minute. They cleared a corner for Fred, who handed a shiny ball into the box and McTominay climbed higher in the box to go home.
But Villa reacted very well by passing behind. Emi Buendia pulled an effort off the far post, while John McGinn saw his fierce 20-yard strike saved by David de Gea.
Ollie Watkins came closest to getting his team back in order, as he darted on a terrible touch from Victor Lindelof to burst forward, come back inside, but then saw his cannon effort out of the way. closed off.
Despite their defensive weaknesses, United have always seemed a threat themselves on the attack. McTominay managed a few shots from close range, before Marcus Rashford was pushed back by Matty Cash in the dying seconds of the first half.
The visitors thought they were level five minutes into the second half, when Danny Ings regrouped at close range. However, after a lengthy VAR review he was ruled out for an earlier foul on Edinson Cavani.
Watkins then had the ball in the end too, but the offside flag rose after Ings passed the last defender as he passed it to his hitting partner.
Ezri Konsa and Cash saved their efforts, while Watkins saw a strike right off the post, as Villa completely dominated the second half.
United managed to weather the storm, however, and the visitors couldn’t get the same kind of attacking threat in the final 15 minutes.
It’s another below-par performance that will concern Rangnick, but he and his team have had the comfort of reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup this time around.