Manchester United won their fourth straight game without starting Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese was United’s leading goal scorer last season and was expected to lead their frontline under Erik ten Hag from the get go.
However, during the summer transfer window, Ronaldo tried to force his exit and also missed the early parts of pre-season training. Ten Hag, who has used the Portugal captain as a substitute in United’s last four games, suggested concerns over the 37-year-old’s fitness.
The United boss did start his talisman at Brentford where he failed to make any impact as the Red Devils were thrashed 4-0. Further, his cameo appearances off the bench hardly had any impact against Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester City and Arsenal.
Ronaldo isn’t the player who would be happy with a bit part role and Ten Hag might find it hard to keep his most senior player happy without handing him regular starts. Nevertheless, the superstar’s attitude on the bench so far has been nothing short of professional, and the same was highlighted by his reaction to Antony’s goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo's attitude has been very impressive even when he's not starting. Applauds from the bench when we score and so hungry to score/contribute when he comes on.
No matter what you think, he always wants the best for Man Utd. pic.twitter.com/8rz8bhUPC8
— UtdFaithfuls (@UtdFaithfuls) September 4, 2022
The Brazilian marked his debut by scoring an opener against the visitors, and ran towards away fans to celebrate his first goal for United. He was told off by the referee for celebrating in front of the away supporters.
And Antony wasn’t the only one who couldn’t contain his excitement at the Theatre of Dreams, as Ronaldo stood up to applaud the new arrival’s effort.
Ronaldo’s commendable behaviour irrespective of his role under Ten Hag is going to be very crucial for the Dutchman to maintain team spirit and harmony at Carrington.