Erik ten Hag explains why he left Cristiano Ronaldo on bench vs Man City

Erik ten Hag explains why he left Cristiano Ronaldo on bench vs Man City

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained why Cristiano Ronaldo was an unused substitute against Manchester City.

Man United got beat 6-3 away from home by Man City and ended United’s four-match winning run in the Premier League.

United were trailing 6-1 at the Etihad following hat-tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden and Manchester United were in great need of goals, to at least, ease whatever shame the remaining United fans on the stands were feeling.

But Ten Hag would rather snub Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored from the penalty spot vs Sheriff Tiraspol before the international break, to bring on Anthony Martial, who only return from an injury on Friday.

Manchester United Cristiano Ronaldo Erik ten Hag Manchester City

The Dutchman’s gamble paid off after the France star scored a late brace to leave the score line 6-3 rather the initial embarrassing 6-1.

Today’s game was the first time Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t manage any minutes this season and Erik ten Hag has confirmed that it was down to the huge respect he has for the Portuguese star.

“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,” said Ten Hag.

The former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has suggested that United lost to Manchester City because they didn’t play with belief and as a team, unlike their performances against Liverpool and Arsenal.

“I also told the players [about their lack of belief] — I have seen some highlights, it was obvious we are defending not on the front foot, we let them play, in possession we were not brave enough, made tactical mistakes, decision: mistakes and then you get hammered,” Ten Hag added.

“They [Manchester United players] have to [accept criticism]. They showed against Liverpool, Arsenal, when they perform as a team, when they bring the belief on the pitch, starting individual, we will show them and you cannot deny.”