Erik ten Hag reviews Man Utd's defeat at Man City
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Jamie Carragher has backed Erik ten Hag’s decision to leave Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for Manchester United’s 6-3 Premier League defeat to Manchester City on Sunday. The Red Devils were comprehensively beaten by their fierce rivals at the Etihad Stadium. Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both notched hat-tricks, with Antony and Anthony Martial netting consolations in return.
Manchester United were put to the sword by a ruthless City side on Sunday, with the hosts superior in every department.
And watching on from the sidelines, having been snubbed once again, was Ronaldo.
The United star is yet to start in the Premier League since the 4-0 defeat to Brentford at the end of August and some have accused Ten Hag of ‘disrespecting’ the 37-year-old.
However, Carragher has branded that opinion as ‘laughable’ and defended Ten Hag for his decision.
“The idea that ETH got it wrong yesterday by not playing Ronaldo is laughable!” he said on Twitter.
“Ronaldo played at Brentford when it was 4-0 at ht!!
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“It’s not a dig at CR, but Rashford’s pace on the counter attack as we saw v Arsenal/Liverpool was 100 [per cent] the best option.”
Not everybody will be in agreement, however.
United leaving Ronaldo on the bench for such a big game was something that was once unfathomable, especially given his sensational career.
And Roy Keane said his old team were showing the Portugal international ‘disrespect’, insisting he’s still one of the club’s best players.
Speaking on Sky Sports , Keane said: “I think United are just showing disrespect to Ronaldo, he should’ve been let go before the end of the transfer window.
“The manager said he’s holding onto him. Okay, you need options but you don’t keep hold of Ronaldo to sit on the bench.
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“He’s one of the greatest players ever, this idea that he had no options – that’s rubbish.
“He had options, he had four, five good options. The manager brought on (Anthony) Martial who scored two but generally speaking, the bigger picture, he’s not going to play Ronaldo, we’ve seen him play a few European games, it’s just going to get uglier as the season goes on.
“Okay, Ronaldo’s motivated with the World Cup coming up but if he’s sitting on the bench for Man United week in, week out, it’s not good.
“It’s just going to get ugly. I think United have showed nothing but disrespect to Ronaldo and they should’ve let him go when he had the chance to go.
“He had options, I know that for a fact, holding on to him to sit on the bench is ridiculous for a player of his stature.
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“Could he have brought him on? Course he could’ve, so what if you’re 4-0 down?
“You look at his goal record it’s as good as anyone for putting the ball in the back of the net.
“People are obsessed with the pressing side of the game but you put the ball in the right areas he’ll score goals.”
And Graeme Souness, speaking on talkSPORT, has also condemned Ten Hag’s treatment of Ronaldo.
“Time is not your friend in football, you have to be winning games today,” he said.
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“It’s not about waiting for Marcus Rashford to become the player that most people believe he can be.
“It’s not about giving Martial, because of his age, a place in the team over Ronaldo. It’s about today in football.
“Yeah, I would have [played] Ronaldo.
“Marcus Rashford, when he first burst into the team as a young player you thought ‘he’s the real deal’. He’s stood still.
“If you were to ask me today, next week, big game – for all his shortcomings, Ronaldo, I would have played him in front of Rashford.”
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