Cristiano Ronaldo should have started against City, says Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand has told Five he believes Cristiano Ronaldo should have started Sunday’s Premier League clash against Manchester City.

Ronaldo was left on Manchester United’s bench for the fixture and with the Red Devils 4-0 down at half-time, Erik ten Hag said he wanted to spare him humiliation by bringing him on.

The forward will always be a talking point whether he plays or not, and post-game, Roy Keane was telling Sky Sports that United are being ‘disrespectful’ by keeping him around just to be a substitute.

United started Marcus Rashford, who failed to score or create any chances, and he was eventually replaced by Anthony Martial, who scored twice.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Ronaldo should have started against City, says Rio

Ferdinand says Cristiano Ronaldo should have started at The Etihad and would have relished the chance to play.

He said: “You can’t have your top goalscorer who scored 24/25 goals a season on the bench. I see Roy Keane talking about it, I totally agree.

“This pressing business, we are so concerned with what people don’t do, what’s he good at? The hardest thing in football is scoring goals and this guy does it as good if not better than anybody.

“You’ve got him sitting there. Plus the character, plus the personality, the big time mentality and understand this is a big opportunity to put my name up in lights.

“He’s not scared of it. He’s not going to go on the pitch shirking responsibility a shadow of his former self. He’s going ‘I’m Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Ferdinand’s stance was disputed by Jamie Carragher, who wrote on Twitter that it was ‘laughable’ to suggest playing Ronaldo.

The superstar has just one goal for club and country this season, which was a penalty, while Rashford has three from open play.

Meanwhile a report in The Telegraph says United have told Ronaldo he is free to leave the club in January and Erik ten Hag will not stand in his way.

Ferdinand critical of United’s approach

Ferdinand says the defeat was a ‘good reality check’ to see where Manchester United are, after a winning run which preceded this fixture.

He says that past defeats haunted United and showed up at the weekend, adding: “It showed it’s been built on fragile foundations. The mental scars are still there from before, [and] are evidently still there. After that first half you could see it.”

Ferdinand added that United looked panicky in possession, commenting: “We looked impatient with the ball when we got it.”

United face Omonia in the Europa League on Thursday night and then Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.

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