Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has slammed Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for benching Cristiano Ronaldo for the team’s home match against Everton. Paul Merson struggled to understand Solskjaer’s decision to bench Ronaldo after Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Everton, speaking to Sky Sports (via the Metro). This season, the Portuguese has been United’s go-to man, saving the team on numerous occasions, including a Champions League match against Villarreal in midweek. So Merson is perplexed by Solsjkjaer’s decision to bench the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. In this regard, the former Arsenal player stated:
“He’s putting himself under pressure..” Ronaldo is the go-to man; he’s saved them from trouble a number of times already this season, despite the fact that he’s on the bench. I’m not sure what he’s thinking. It’s not like Ronaldo is sprinting left, right, and center, shutting down everyone. Give him the ball so he can make things happen. He wouldn’t be exhausted. “
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left to rue his decision to rest Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba against Everton. That’s because the Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw by an Everton team that was missing key players due to injury. Anthony Martial scored the first goal for United, but Andros Townsend equalized for the Toffees in the second half. In the second half, Ronaldo, Pogba, and Jadon Sancho were introduced, but they were ineffective. Despite this, Solskjaer defended his decision to sit Ronaldo and others, saying:
“Well Wednesday was a big effort, big emotional and physical output, so needed to freshen it up..” The start of the game is crucial, and with big players on the way, we believe this is a team capable of taking control of the game. “Paul Merson: “Ronaldo is the go-to guy. He’s gotten them [#mufc] out of a lot of trouble already this season, and he’s on the bench. I’m not sure what they’re thinking. ” [@footballdaily] Paul Merson: “Ronaldo is the go-to man..” He’s gotten them [#mufc] out of a lot of trouble already this season, and he’s on the bench. I’m not sure what they’re thinking. ” [@footballdaily]
🗣"He's putting himself under pressure today. I don't know what the thinking is."
Paul Merson is shocked that Cristiano Ronaldo is not playing for Manchester United today. pic.twitter.com/Db3lc4EmVn
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 2, 2021
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to turn Manchester United’s fortunes against Everton
With just over half an hour remaining in the game, Solskjaer introduced Ronaldo in the second half. Unsurprisingly, the 36-year-old forward was unable to make an impact on the game.
Ronaldo’s only decent chance came when he teamed up with Sancho. Jordan Pickford of Everton, on the other hand, was unconcerned by his shot from аn аcute аngle. Mаnchester United missed out on а chаnce to go top of the Premier Leаgue tаble with the drаw, аnd they аre now two points behind leаgue leаders Chelseа. On our SK Experts tаb, you cаn reаd Fаbrizio Romаno аnd Pаul Merson’s lаtest column.