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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Man United sideline Cristiano Ronaldo for duel with Chelsea

MANCHESTER, England ( Associated Press) – Cristiano Ronaldo will be left out of Manchester United’s squad for Saturday’s game against Chelsea, the club said on Thursday, with the Portuguese star retiring to the locker room before the end of the 2-0 win. After said of Tottenham.

United manager Eric ten Haag said on Wednesday that he would “do it all” with Cristiano.

“The rest of the team is fully focused on preparing for this game”, United said, indicating that it fully supports Ten Haig’s decision.

In his unusual role as a substitute, Cristiano made his way to the Old Trafford changing room before the final whistle of the Premier League game against Tottenham.

The incident marked one of United’s best performances of the season and once again highlighted that Cristiano’s most important contribution comes from the pitch.

United’s pre-season was rife with uncertainty over whether the 37-year-old attacker would stay with a club competing in the Champions League.

He did not join the rest of the squad on their tours of Thailand and Australia due to a family problem, and when he resumed activities in July he was one of the players who lost the Old in the middle of a friendly against Rio Vallecano. Trafford was abandoned.

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His apparent frustration was caught on camera as he pointed to the locker room after United’s humiliating 4-0 loss at Brentford in August.

The most recent episode again disappoints Ten Haag answering questions for which he had no answers.

“I don’t pay attention today,” Ten Haag said after the match. “We will tackle it tomorrow. I want to focus on this team. It was a great performance from all the 11 players.”

Ten Haig’s selection of words was remarkable. No attempt was made to defuse the situation by claiming that the ex-serviceman was allowed to leave earlier.

Confirming that this was an issue that needs to be resolved ensures that speculation about Cristiano’s future at United will continue.

Looks like Ten Haag’s bet on the Portuguese is destined to fail.

The strategist was reluctant to let the striker sit out for the summer – fearing his squad would be left without a prolific goalscorer. But it is the same with Cristiano still in the club.

The return of two goals in 12 matches is a testament to his struggle and Ten Haag’s inability to get him back in form.

The manager has always suggested that Cristiano could adapt to his high-pressure strategy, but on Wednesday was revealing his reasons for choosing Marcus Rashford.

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“We need good pressure against this Tottenham,” he explained. “We need to apply good high pressure because from there you can create scoring opportunities. We needed good pressure players. Offensively, you need mobility, so Marcus can bring that to the table.”

In a season in which Cristiano scored his 700th career club goal, United are looking good without him.

Wins over Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham have all been on the bench with the Portuguese.

In a 2–0 win over Spurs, United displayed their most efficient attacking attack yet, even though Ten Haag still lacked a clinical finisher, Rashford once again making the most of his chances against a goalless opponent. failed to lift.

But the England striker made up for his lackluster performance with his quickness to take advantage of the energy and space he brought to control defenders.

Cristiano’s problems stem not from a reluctance to fit into the Ten Hag system, but from a lack of ability to do so.

There’s been evidence that he presses on wide positions—but his famous short-field advantage hasn’t, probably because it’s gone to conserve his energy for those pivotal moments.

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