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02nd Oct 2022

Erik ten Hag explains why he didn’t bring on Cristiano Ronaldo in derby day defeat

Callum Boyle

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo was an unused substitute in the defeat

Erik ten Hag explained why he chose not to bring on Cristiano Ronaldo in Manchester United’s derby day defeat.

United were humiliated by Manchester City as the hosts ran riot at the Etihad Stadium, losing 6-3 on Sunday.

Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both scored hat tricks while a curling effort from Antony and a brace from second-half sub Anthony Martial spared some of the away side’s blushes.

Ronaldo was named amongst the substitutes once again, but Ten Hag opted not to call upon him as his side were well beaten.

During the game Ronaldo’s face painted a sorry truth of the humiliation as he and Casemiro both looked on dejected as their teammates were outclassed.

Asked why he chose not to bring on the experienced 37-year-old, Ten Hag gave a simple answer: “Out of respect for his big career.”

The Dutchman also cited a “lack of belief” behind United’s crushing defeat.

“It’s quite simple, it’s a lack of belief. When you don’t believe on the pitch then you can’t win games, that is unacceptable. We get undisciplined at following rules and you get hammered, that’s happened today,” he said.

“All the credit to City, but it’s nothing to do with City, our performance was not good. It had to do with the belief as individuals and as team.

“In this moment I can’t think about positives. We let our fans down, we let ourselves down and we’re hugely disappointed.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

Meanwhile Christian Eriksen has revealed that the players will meet with the manager on Monday to dissect what went wrong.

He said: “You always want to beat the rivals and win the derbies. It is something we need to do better next time.

“As a group, everyone will be looking at themselves, we will have a meeting with the manager tomorrow to go through everything that went wrong today.”

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