Ten Hag sure more goals will come for Ronaldo and explains Antony sub decision

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Erik ten Hag hailed Cristiano Ronaldo’s goalscoring return and defended his decision to substitute Antony during the victory over Sheriff.

Cristiano Ronaldo will get more goals after netting on his return to Manchester United’s line-up says Erik ten Hag, who explained Antony’s early substitution in the 3-0 Europa League win over Sheriff was planned.

Ronaldo was dropped for the draw at Chelsea last time out after refusing to come on as a substitute during the previous match against Tottenham, but he completed a routine 3-0 win that secured the Red Devils a top two spot in Group E.

It marked the Portuguese superstar’s first goal of the season at Old Trafford and the Ten Hag, who saw Diego Dalot and Marcus Rashford also score, are sure to have more to come.

“To see Ronaldo get his goal was great,” Ten Hag said during a post-match interview with BT Sport. “He created, the team created for him and we know he has the ability to finish. He needed a goal and now I’m sure there will be more.”

“[The team’s performance] was OK. Of course you hope to score in the first half hour so it took a bit long but we deserved the goal.

“We scored two more good goals from open play in the second half and I’m pleased with the clean sheet because we didn’t give anything away. It was a focused win.”

The United head coach also defended his decision to substitute Antony at half-time. With the game still goalless, the Brazil international came under scrutiny for showboating when he performed a double spin before sending his follow-up pass offside.

Asked if the former Ajax winger had been replaced because of the incident, The Hag said: “No. It was more or less planned if we were awake.”

“I wanted to see Marcus and Cristiano close together and the dynamic on the right.

United must now beat Group E leaders Real Sociedad by two goals next week to progress to the last 16 while avoiding a potentially tricky play-off clash with a Champions League knockout side.

Rashford, who scored his 99th goal for the club on Thursday, insists the Red Devils are relishing the task.

Assessing Sheriff’s victory, the England forward said: “Not getting the first goal quickly leads to a mixture of frustration and composure, you have to be calm to create chances and take them clinically.

“The score before half-time was a big help, it allowed us to look for more goals and space and we found them. It was about getting the job done.

“We have to go [to Real Sociedad] and score two goals. We have to score goals but defend well. It will be a tough game but we are looking forward to the challenge.”

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