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HomeFootballCristiano Ronaldo's solo effort overshadows ManUnited gala

Cristiano Ronaldo’s solo effort overshadows ManUnited gala

Manchester United shine against the next top team – but Cristiano Ronaldo draws the headlines with his behaviour. How does Erik ten Hag react?

Often enough in recent years, you’ve seen sections of the Manchester United home crowd make their way home disappointed before the final whistle. Wednesday night’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur gave no cause for that – and yet one spectator had seen enough in the closing stages.

After ManUnited coach Erik ten Hag had substituted Christian Eriksen and Anthony Elanga in the 87th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo unceremoniously left the area and trudged towards the dressing room – although ten Hag would have had two more substitution options left.

Ten Hag: “I’m not paying any attention to it today “

The Portuguese, who had been in the starting eleven twice in a row recently, was not considered from the start this time. And it cannot be said that this was a misjudgement by his coach. It was not for nothing that ten Hag spoke of “the best performance so far this season” after the convincing 2-0 win against Spurs.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s uncollegiate behaviour was something he explicitly refused to comment on during an otherwise successful evening. “I’m not paying attention to it today, we’ll deal with that tomorrow,” the Dutchman said. “I saw it, but I didn’t talk to him afterwards.” His wish: “We want to put the focus on the team – it was a great performance from all eleven players. “

Ten Hag praises balance – and corrects himself

After the 2-1 against Liverpool and the 3-1 against leaders Arsenal, the next home win came against a notable national rival thanks to goals from Fred (47th) and Bruno Fernandes (69th). The disastrous 3:6 at Manchester City two and a half weeks ago apparently did not leave any lasting damage. United have their sights set on the Champions League ranks.

“Already in the last few weeks you could see how we want to play. Today you saw eleven players who defended and eleven who attacked,” said ten Hag, and anyone who wanted to could read into those words a hint at Cristiano Ronaldo, who is always said to not work unconditionally against the ball. “But I wouldn’t say I’m completely satisfied, because that should be the standard.”

Then ten Hag thought of something else. “I have to correct myself,” he said. “It was not eleven players, but also those who were substituted, it was a performance of the whole squad.” To what extent he was referring to Cristiano Ronaldo remained open. Just like the question of whether the 37-year-old will have to fear consequences for going it alone.



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