Ralf Rangnick’s term as Austria new coach began with a 3-0 victory over Croatia in the first game of the new Nations League season on Friday.
Austria climbed to the top of League A Group One thanks to goals from Marko Arnautovic,
Michael Gregoritsch, and Marcel Sabitzer, after Denmark beat France 2-1 away.
Just before halftime, Arnautovic made a solo run past the defense and sent a shot from the
edge of the box into the bottom right corner against the run of play.
Austria manager “Rangnick” began with a hugely impressive Nations League win in Croatia.
Last season, Rangnick struggled as Manchester United’s interim manager, failing to qualify
for the Champions League.
But he got off to a great start in Austria, thrashing the World Cup finalists from 2018.
A straightforward victory secured thanks to goals from Marko Arnautovic, Michael
Gregoritsch, and Marcel Sabitzer.
With a magnificent 20-yard effort four minutes before the break, former West Ham striker
Arnautovic, who is now at Bolgona in Serie A, scored the Rangnick era’s first goal.
Shortly after halftime, Gregoritsch scored a first-time attempt from 12 yards, and three
minutes later, Sabitzer added a fantastic third from 25 yards.
Croatia substituted Luka Modric, who had just won the Champions League with Real Madrid,
but it was too little, too late at that point.
Rangnick, who revealed last Sunday that his plans to continue on as a consultant at Old Trafford would be canceled so he could focus on the Austria post, got off to a great start.
He has the burden of leading them ahead after they failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup, losing in a play-off semi-final against Wales.
And he couldn’t have asked for a better start to his career.
The 63-year-old has managed 11 different club sides during his career, but this is his first time guiding an international team.
In the other game in Group A1, the holders of the Nations League, France, were defeated 2-1 by Denmark.