Cristiano Ronaldo was on the bench for 90 minutes in Manchester United's 6-3 defeat of local rivals City. Head coach Erik ten Hag then explained why the Portuguese was not even substituted on.
Under Erik ten Hag, Cristiano Ronaldo is still a long way from the starting XI. This is because CR7 missed large parts of the preparation and according to ten Hag is not yet at 100 percent. In the Premier League, Ronaldo was in the first XI for the first time this season.
Ronaldo was also initially only on the bench against Manchester City; at half-time the Red Devils were already 4-0 behind. City responded to Antony's sign of life to make it 4-1 with two more goals. A one-sided derby, which Anthony Martial garnished with a brace in the final minutes of the game that had already been decided. Meanwhile, Ronaldo followed the action from the bench for the entire season. Erik ten Hag then explained that he did not substitute Ronaldo out of "respect for his great career". Means: such a pack should not be in Ronaldo's books if the game was already decided. Instead, ten brought on Hag Martial to give the Frenchman 'important minutes'. The attacker repaid the trust with his one-two.
This article was originally published on 90min.com as "Respect for career": That's why ten Hag didn't let Cristiano Ronaldo play against Man City.