Club News: Erik ten Hag has explained why Cristiano Ronaldo was not bought on against Manchester City
Cristiano Ronaldo remained an unused substitute in the Manchester derby in which Manchester City humbled Manchester United 6-3.
Erik ten Hag used all his five substitutions and it was really surprising to see the 37-year-old left on the bench, despite the Red Devils being 4-0 down in the first half.
And now the Dutch manager has explained why he did not bring the forward on. In an interview published in the Manchester Evening News, the United boss refused to bring the Portuguese international ‘out of respect for his big career.’
“I wouldn’t bring him in because out of respect for Cristiano, for his big career. And the other thing was the advantage I could bring Anthony Martial, he needs the minutes but I don’t want to point it out like that.”
The 37-year-old is a legend at United and has scored five times against their neighbours in 15 appearances in all competitions. To bring him on when his side are already four goals down would just make the Portugal captain subject to notorious headlines.
United never looked like they had it in them to come back and claim a point or a win against City. It seems even Ten Hag knew that somewhere in his heart and decided not to make Ronaldo a part of this misery.
It was sad to see both Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson watch their team get humiliated and they could do nothing about it. A time when the duo inflicted fear in their opponents were now just helpless to do anything.
Anthony Martial, meanwhile last played for United in their 2-1 against Liverpool in August. The French forward was on the scoresheet and since then has been out injured. But bringing him on against City worked for Ten Hag as the 26-year-old scored twice to put some respect on the score line.
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United now prepare for their Europa League game next. They will travel to face Omonia this Thursday for their group-stage game and both Martial and Ronaldo are in contention to start. Fans will hope for a win to have something to cheer about.