Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo was “fuming” after he was substituted off as his side drew 0-0 with Newcastle on Sunday. The Red Devils failed to find a way past Nick Pope in the visitors’ goal and continue their three-match winning run, as Marcus Rashford missed a big opportunity in stoppage time to take all three points.
The 37-year-old was seen speaking under his breath and looked disappointed at Old Trafford before he gave Rashford a half-hearted high-five. Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara described Ronaldo’s reaction as he shook his head when he left the pitch. “Ronaldo has just come off for Rashford,” O’Hara told Sky Sports. “And Ronaldo is absolutely fuming.
“Fuming that he has been taken off. He has walked off the pitch, he is getting a standing ovation. But he is shaking his head, he has gone over to the side and sat down on the bench, he’s moaning, he’s got his head down.
“As much as I love Ronaldo, you have to kind of be a leader on the pitch and if the manager has made a decision to take you off, you have got to take it on the chin. Whether you agree with it or not, it doesn’t give off a really good impression when you’re doing that.
“You’re such a huge influence in the team. He’s been okay, he’s had a couple of chances, had the goal disallowed because he was offside. He hasn’t been fantastic, he is probably looking at it and the game is in the balance.
“Manchester United are on top they are still creating chances, and there has been other players who were worse than him who are still on the pitch, [Jadon] Sancho. You could have put Rashford left-wing and if you go into the latter stages of the game and Man United are still really trying to pile on the pressure, who do you want on the football pitch to win it? It’s Ronaldo.”
Ronaldo has not been one of Erik ten Hag’s preferred players, with Rashford often preferred to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and Anthony Martial was picked to start ahead of him in the 2-1 win away to Everton.
The Portuguese star scored his first Premier League goal in the victory at Goodison Park after coming off the bench for Martial, and was handed a start against Newcastle but failed to get on the scoresheet.
It was Ronaldo’s second league start of the campaign, and he has made two appearances from kick-off in the Europa League where he has also scored once, a penalty against FC Sheriff.