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Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo dropped! Ten Hag explains decision to bench Portuguese superstar against Spurs

3:34 PM EDT 10/19/22
Ronaldo 2022-23
Cristiano Ronaldo has been dropped from the Man Utd starting line-up for the Premier League clash with Tottenham at Old Trafford.
  • Ronaldo dropped to bench
  • Portuguese scored hat-trick in fixture last season
  • Rashford starts instead

WHAT HAPPENED? Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has opted to drop Ronaldo for the clash against Spurs on Wednesday night. The veteran superstar scored a hat-trick in the corresponding fixture last season but drew a blank against Newcastle at the weekend - and was visibly frustrated to be substituted.

WHAT THEY SAID: Explaining the decision to United's official media channels, Ten Hag said: "You think about games over 90 minutes, I think to start this is the best. You know Tottenham are really comfortable from the back, they can really play from the back, so you need a good press. They have high intensity.

"So a quick team can match that and we know we need Cristiano at the end as well, of course we need to score if we want to win the game.

"Marcus was ill at the weekend. He wasn't available for 90 minutes, otherwise he should have started on Sunday as well. The moment Marcus came in, we were getting more dynamic in front and that is what we need today, to break that line and also to build up this game. Also, we know we have a threat on the bench with Ronaldo to finish this game."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: United are unchanged otherwise and will hope for a positive result as they look to close the gap to the top four. Ten Hag's side currently sit sixth in the Premier League, just three points behind Chelsea in fourth.


WHAT NEXT FOR MAN UTD? After the meeting things don't get any easier, with United travelling to face Chelsea in Saturday's late kick-off.