Australia Markets open in 2 hrs 36 mins

Benching Cristiano Ronaldo was my decision – not Ralf Rangnick's, insists Michael Carrick

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Cristiano Ronaldo - Cristiano Ronaldo starting on bench was my decision – not incoming interim Ralf Rangnick, says Michael Carrick - GETTY IMAGES
Cristiano Ronaldo - Cristiano Ronaldo starting on bench was my decision – not incoming interim Ralf Rangnick, says Michael Carrick - GETTY IMAGES

Michael Carrick insisted that incoming Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick was not behind the decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo for the 1-1 draw against Chelsea.

Ronaldo started on the substitutes’ bench for Carrick’s second game as caretaker manager and the United team selection prompted a tweet from former United defender Gary Neville that said: “A lot of people having a go at Michael Carrick for dropping Ronaldo and picking that MDF (midfield). I’ve a feeling the incoming manager has picked that team as it’s a huge departure from midweek and what they’ve been doing.”

But when asked if Rangnick had influenced the United line-up, Carrick replied: “That’s not the case, no.

“We came here with a plan and I knew how Chelsea would play. We wanted to stop the short passes into Jorginho and [Ruben] Loftus-Cheek, and we wanted to put some freshness into the team and tweak the tactics. It’s just how we decided to go and it nearly paid off.”

Another of United’s former players, Roy Keane, was unimpressed by Carrick’s decision to bench Ronaldo, who made an appearance as a 64th-minute substitute.

Speaking in his role as a television pundit on Sky, Keane said: “Carrick is trying to give him a high-five – I don't know let him get down the tunnel. There's nothing wrong with a player being upset, nothing wrong with that, but Ronaldo has not come back to Manchester United to sit on that bench. What is the point? He's a world-class player.

“This idea that Ronaldo is going to start closing people down – he's not, but sometimes you have to work around a superstar.

“I've played with players who don't do the bit you hope, the [Eric] Cantonas of this world, but you forgive them because these are guys who will score the winning goals in the title matches.

“Ronaldo has got to be in the starting eleven – and this idea the manager is resting him. He could have played today easily.”

Carrick admitted that he had no idea whether or not Rangnick would be appointed in time to take charge against Arsenal on Thursday night, or what his own situation might be.

“As of now, no more news,” said Carrick. “I was purely focused on the game. After the game, now I’m sure I will be updated and we will see what happens in the next few days, but, as of now, I’ve got no more for you.”

Jadon Sancho gave United the lead against the run of play following a mistake from Jorginho, but the Chelsea midfielder levelled the scores from the penalty spot following a foul by Aaron Wan-Bissaka on Thiago Silva.

Michael Carrick and Jadon Sancho - - GETTY IMAGES
Michael Carrick and Jadon Sancho - - GETTY IMAGES

“In a difficult situation, we tried to make the best of it,” said Carrick. “But there is that little bitter feeling. We came to win the game. A little disappointed, I can't lie.

"I don't think it was a penalty at all. They have had a lot of shots. David had two saves which we knew before the game he would have to make one or two. Other than that I have felt quite comfortable in the game. Of course we want to be better. I am not getting carried away but I thought we defended well. I cannot fault the boys one bit.

"To come away disappointed and to feel like you have left something out there is a positive."

Chelsea had 24 shots on goal and missed five big chances, but remain top of the table despite now drawing their last two home games in the League against United and Burnley.

“We cannot be surprised,” said Tuchel. “Things like this happen. We played such good games against Burnley and Manchester United and feel disappointed as we think by far we did enough. Over a long season you drop points and you dig in and try to steal them back if someone steals them from you. We are in the middle of the race and this is where we want to be.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting