Cristiano Ronaldo is DROPPED for Man United's crunch clash at Chelsea

Cristiano Ronaldo is DROPPED for Man United’s crunch Premier League clash with Chelsea… as caretaker boss Michael Carrick says the superstar was ‘great’ during their talks over team selection at Stamford Bridge

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has been dropped for Man United’s crunch clash at Chelsea
  • Michael Carrick decided to go with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford in attack
  • The Portuguese has not started just one Premier League game since his return
  • Ronaldo played and scored in the midweek European victory over Villarreal 

Cristiano Ronaldo has been dropped by Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick for the side’s huge Premier League clash at Chelsea on Sunday.

Ronaldo started and scored in the midweek European win over Villarreal but was consigned to the bench at Stamford Bridge with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford starting ahead of Bruno Fernandes in attack.

Carrick reverted to what appeared to be a midfield diamond on Sunday with Fernandes at the tip, Nemanja Matic at the base and Fred and Scott McTominay in the middle.

United are also without captain Harry Maguire after he was sent off in last week’s disastrous defeat by Watford, which led to the dismissal of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

Michael Carrick (right) dropped Cristiano Ronaldo (left) Man United’s crunch clash at Chelsea

De Gea, Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Alex Telles, Fred, Matic, McTominay, Fernandes, Rashford, Sancho. 

Subs: Jones, Ronaldo, Mata, Martial, Greenwood, Lingard, Dalot, Henderson, van de Beek.

Speaking about this team selection, Carrick said: ‘A few tweaks and changes from the other night, to change things up a bit. 

‘Cristiano is probably our standout name, but it’s just game plan, ideas.

‘I had a good chat with Cristiano actually, he was great, and we’ve decided to go like that today.’

It just the second time Ronaldo has not started in the Premier League this season. He was also left on the bench for United’s 1-1 draw with Everton at Old Trafford, only coming on for the final 33 minutes.

On that afternoon, Ronaldo was furious with Solskjaer and stormed down the tunnel shaking his head after the Red Devils dropped two points. 

Sir Alex Ferguson also questioned the decision to leave the club’s prized asset out of the starting line-up. The legendary manager was heard saying ‘you should always start your best players’ during a chat with UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Ronaldo has scored 10 goals in 14 appearances since returning to United from Juventus earlier this year. 

Ronaldo started and scored in the midweek Champions League win over Villarreal in Spain

United fans were perplexed by the decision to start Ronaldo on the bench given the importance of the clash. 

@UtdJ4Y tweeted: ‘Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench? Ok enough jokes drop the real line-up now!’

@Tife-fabunmi added: ‘Ronaldo is not starting, Carrick is finished before he even started.’

One shocked supported posted: ‘Can’t believe he dropped Ronaldo’.

Another fan wrote: ‘No Ronaldo in the starting XI i swear to God if we lose (sic)… lets just now make this evening more sad’

For Chelsea, Marcos Alonso started at left wing-back after Ben Chilwell’s knee ligament injury, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek stepped in for N’Golo Kante in defensive midfield.

Timo Werner started ahead of Christian Pulisic in attack, with Chelsea making three changes from Tuesday’s 4-0 thumping of Juventus.

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