Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t look happy leaving the pitch, or later on the bench, following his 71st-minute substitution in an away match at Brentford. The Portuguese superstar made no secret of his feelings as he was caught on camera uttering some words before sitting on a step in the dugout.
Asked for comment after United’s 3-1 win, German manager Ralf Rangnick described Ronaldo’s reaction as “normal” and said he acted in the best interest of the team. Ronaldo returned to the squad this week after missing out on the Aston Villa match on Saturday because of a groin injury.
“He was not happy but he came back from injury. I was happy to have him on board for today’s game, especially after Edinson Cavani could not train,” Rangnick told BBC Sport.
United’s head coach said his tactical reaction was a “lesson learned” from the Aston Villa clash when the Red Devils wasted a two-goal lead to leave Villa Park with just a point. “I told him [Ronaldo], we were 2-0 up and we have to learn lessons from Villa Park. After that game, I was angry with myself for not changing to a back five,” Rangnick stressed.
Cristiano Ronaldo was absolute fuming when he was substituted by Ralf Rangnick at Brentford last night…😡 pic.twitter.com/6dzqgum1uR
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 20, 2022
“Today was exactly the same situation and I did not want to make the same mistake again. I said: ‘Listen, Cristiano, you are 36 and in great shape, but when you are a head coach, you will see it through the glasses of a head coach.’ My job is to make the decisions in the best interest of the team and the club, and I hope he sees it the same way,” Rangnick explained.
Ronaldo is at -125 to score in Man. Utd.’s next game
Ronaldo scored eight goals in 17 Premier League outings since his return to Old Trafford in August. He couldn’t find the net in the two matches he featured in since the start of the year against Wolves and Brentford. Ronaldo was subbed off in three other Premier League matches this season against Tottenham, Arsenal, and Burnley. He was also subbed out in the Champions League away clashes against Villarreal and Young Boys Bern.
United will be back in action on Saturday when they host West Ham United. Ronaldo now stands at -125 to return to scoring, with a brace at +400 and a hat-trick at +1500. The bookies have him at +275 for being the first scorer in the match, which is of essential importance in the fight for Champions League football next season.
West Ham is now fourth in the Premier League table on 37 points, while United is two points behind in seventh place. Man. Utd. played one game less than West Ham. They are at -110 to win, with a draw at +275 and a West Ham triumph at +270.