Why Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t play in Manchester derby

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Manchester United v Everton - Premier League
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on October 02, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag has revealed that he didn’t bring on Cristiano Ronaldo in Manchester United’s 6-3 loss at Manchester City ‘out of respect’ for his career.

The Red Devils were humiliated again at the Etihad Stadium, going into the half-time break 4-0 down for the second time this season.

Erling Haaland and Phil Foden bagged hat-tricks for the visitors, while United pulled one back through Antony, and substitute Anthony Martial hit a late brace to make the scoreline look a little more respectable.

Ronaldo was an unused substitute on Sunday and Ten Hag explained after the game that the decision to leave him on the bench was twofold.

“I didn’t bring him out of respect for his great career,” said Ten Hag.

“And the other thing, then there was the advantage of being able to bring in Antony Martial. He needs minutes but I don’t want to point it out like that.”

Ronaldo has made just three appearances for United this season, including two in the Europa League.

The Hag was also asked about his reluctance to play summer signing Casemiro from the start, instead preferring to start Scott McTominay alongside Christian Eriksen.

“The day we signed him we started winning and it’s about the team,” he added. “The team is doing really well, it’s not against Casemiro but in this case Scott McTominay who has been doing great in the team and then we get into the running.

“But I’m sure it will be important for us in the long and short term, he will be in the team but it has to come naturally.”

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