Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has criticized Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for dropping Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench before the team’s home game against Everton.
Speaking to Sky Sports (via Metro) following Manchester United’s 1-1 draw against Everton, Paul Merson struggled to understand Solskjaer’s decision to bench Ronaldo. The Portuguese has been United’s favorite this season and has saved the team on several occasions, including against Villarreal in the Champions League in the middle of the week.
So Solsjkjaer’s decision to bench the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has stunned Merson. The former Arsenal player said in this regard:
“He’s putting pressure on himself. The go-to man is Ronaldo; he’s already got them out of trouble this season, I don’t know how many times, and he’s on the bench. I don’t know what his opinion is. It’s not like Ronaldo is running left, right and center and everyone closes. You have to give him the ball to make things happen. He wouldn’t be tired.”
United boss Solskjaer regretted his decision to bench Ronaldo and Paul Pogba against Everton. That’s because the Red Devils only managed to draw a draw against an Everton side that missed key players through injury.
Anthony Martial opened the scoring for United before Andros Townsend equalized for the Toffees in the second half. Players like Ronaldo, Pogba and Jadon Sancho were introduced in the second half but proved ineffective.
Nevertheless, Solskjaer defended his call to bench Ronaldo and others by saying:
“Well Wednesday was a big effort, big emotional and physical output, so needed to refresh it. The start of this game is very important, there are also big players coming in; we believe it is a team that controls the game can take.”
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to turn Manchester United’s fortune against Everton
Ronaldo was introduced by Solskjaer in the second half with just over half an hour left. Unsurprisingly, the 36-year-old attacker had no significant influence on the proceedings.
The only good chance Ronaldo had was when he made contact with Sancho. But his shot from a sharp angle didn’t interfere with Everton’s Jordan Pickford.
With the draw, Manchester United missed the chance to top the Premier League table; they are now two points behind leaders Chelsea.
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