Ralf Rangnick took off Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo vs Brentford for the team’s benefit
The 36-year-old returned to the starting lineup after missing the last two games thanks to injury. He lasted 71 minutes before being swapped for skipper Harry Maguire as the Red Devils led 2-0 on the night.
Ronaldo did not appear amused at the decision and his body language showed it as he trudged off the pitch. Rangnick has now revealed what he told the Portuguese superstar following the substitution.
The Red Devils manager claims that his decision was influenced by what he believes is best for the team. Having seen his side throw away a 2-0 lead at Aston Villa at the weekend, Rangnick was keen for thunder to not strike twice, and in the end, it worked, as we cruised to a comfortable win.
“I have to make decisions in the interests of the team and club. We had the same situation at Aston Villa [on Saturday] when we were 2-0 up in the second half and I didn’t want to make the same mistake [drawing 2-2].”
The right call
Thankfully his decision paid off and substitute Marcus Rashford scored the third goal to give the Red Devils more breathing space. Ivan Toney got one back for Brentford but it came too little too late as Man United wound up winning 3-1, taking another step closer in the direction of ensuring a top-four finish.
While Rangnick has no qualms about Ronaldo’s knack for scoring goals, he admits that it was more important for him to ensure the team remained compact at that moment in time. He also went on to add that Ronaldo might feel the same way if he goes on to become a manager in the future.
“It was the right decision. Cristiano is a goalscorer but it was more important to be compact at this moment. When we scored a third I said this exactly to him: ‘I know you’re ambitious to score but maybe in two years’ time when you are a head coach like me and in the same position you’ll understand.”
The Man United boss has no regrets about his decision and the result on the night certainly backs him up. Ronaldo has the right to demand his teammates do better but he also has to do his bit for the team. That is even if he has to take a back seat at times.
He is one of the most potent goal-scorers of all time but at 36, his defensive side of the game is clearly not his strength. Bringing on Harry Maguire with 19 minutes left on the clock was the right thing to do and it helped us absorb a lot of pressure when Brentford were attacking.
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The ex-Real Madrid and Juventus star has played the game long enough to understand that. Even if he was a bit disappointed at being taken off, it is natural for a serial-winner such as him to want to play every minute of the game. His willingness to keep playing for the team and contributing to our wins is something that the fans love about him as well.
The win takes the Red Devils to within two points of West Ham United in the fourth spot. Man United also have a game in hand and it is imperative that we do not drop any more cheap points. There is no better time than now for us to put a good run of results together.