“It Felt Like the Right Moment” – Manchester United Manager Explains Controversial Cristiano Ronaldo Substitution Decision

Published 09/15/2021, 2:43 PM EDT


The euphoria of Cristiano Ronaldo’s debut faded away under the Champions League for Manchester United. While the forward still managed a goal, the team were abysmal in their 2-1 loss.

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United lost to BSC Young Boys in their first match of the UEFA Champions League season after two goals from Moumi Ngamaleu and Theoson Siebatcheu. The reds were leading the match after Ronaldo’s 13th-minute opener, but Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card completely changed the game.

United’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also blamed for United’s performance as the Norwegian took Ronaldo off for Jesse Lingard in the second half. Lingard was responsible for the home team’s last-gasp winner as his backwards pass was intercepted by Theoson Siebatcheu.

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After the match, Solskjaer defended his decision to take Ronaldo off. United were being peppered by the home team and couldn’t get a hold of the ball.

Ronaldo is exceptional. But we have to look after him as well and it felt like the right moment to take him off,” he said.

However, this explanation wasn’t enough for the fans who pointed to Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial, who were still on the bench. Martial came off the bench later, but Greenwood was never involved. There are serious doubts about Ole’s decision making among the United faithful.

After last season’s heartbreak in the Europa League final, supporters had hoped that a much improved United squad would produce a better showing in Europe. But, the consistently inconsistent Red Devils were at it again against a side they were expected to beat. However, this was just the first match, and United have been exceptional in the Premier League.

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Manchester United and their fantastic Premier League form with Cristiano Ronaldo

After playing four games of the Premier League season, Manchester United are joint-top of the table with three wins and a draw. In their first match, they battered Leeds United by a score of 5-1 and ground out a 1-0 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers in their second.

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They did draw their next match against Southampton, but their latest game was the talk of the town. It was Cristiano Ronaldo’s debut for the club and the Portuguese homecoming after spending 12 years away. Everything went to the plan as the forward scored a brace, and United won the match by a scoreline of 4-1.

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Aniket Awasthi

422 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a football writer at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for football to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford as his favorite players, but he is a great admirer of Karim Benzema too.

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