Why didn’t Cristiano Ronaldo start the match against Chelsea? Explaining the Man United star on the bench

In his two games as Manchester United caretaker manager, Michael Carrick has not hesitated to make some unexpected squad decisions. But nothing was greater than his kicking in the net against superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea.

Carrick accompanied strikers Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho against the Blues, and although the team failed to create many attacks, took the lead in the 50th minute after Sancho scored his first goal. in the Premier League.

United still led 1-0 as Carrick picked 36-year-old Ronaldo to score in the 63rd minute. The Portuguese star, who is 800 goals away from his career for club and country, has a total of seven touchdown in the space of almost half an hour. Even though he’s a five-fifth perfect when it comes to passing, According to the statistics of SofaScore, he received more (1) yellow cards than (0) cards in game time.

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Here’s how Carrick explained the pre-match decision:

“Yes, a few tweaks and changes from the night before [Champions League]. Refresh things a bit,” Carrick told Sky before the game. Of course, Cristiano is probably the name that stands out. But just the gameplan idea.

“Really had a nice chat with Cristiano. He was great and we decided to go like that today.

“It’s a decision just to pick a team to be honest. Don’t think it needs any more drama than that.”

Carrick took over from former United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after he was let go on November 21. In his first game in charge in Tuesday’s Champions League win over Villarreal, Carrick was regular sitting Bruno Fernandes and the England national team Marcus Rashord, using them as subscribers. But he started Ronaldo, who almost played the full 90 minutes as the Reds claimed a place in the knockout stages.

The match against Chelsea was only the second time Ronaldo was on the bench in 15 Premier League and Champions League matches since returning to Manchester United in a season transfer from Italian club Juventus. The last time it happened in a home draw on October 2 against Everton, it created an uproar, and even brought about legendary United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. caught on video questioned the decision of then-manager Solskajer.

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Ronaldo’s limited movement in the game against Chelsea could be a way to preserve the striker for a busy run of games in December, including seven league games and the Champions League group stage final. . That starts on Thursday with a pivotal home game against Arsenal in the race for the top four, which guarantees next season’s Champions League spot.

Whatever the reason, branching still generates a lot of discussion. Sky Sports pundit and former Man United player Gary Neville thinks caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick may have been reported to have had a say in the decision to ensure United press on more effectively in a challenging game. with the top team Chelsea. But after the match, Carrick asserted that Rangnick has nothing to do with the lineup selection against Chelsea.

Former Manchester United great Roy Keane doesn’t understand why Ronaldo isn’t in the squad and insists that the team’s star striker should be in charge of the biggest games, including against Chelsea. His pundit and former player, Jamie Carragher, suggested the move could be a way for Carrick to separate himself from Solskjaer, whom he serves as an assistant.

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It is unclear when Rangnick could take over as he has not been officially announced despite numerous reports claiming that a deal has been done.

If Rangnick makes his official debut, there is a scenario where Carrick could be on the bench against Arsenal on Thursday. It will be interesting to see who claims responsibility for the lineup selection in that case.

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