Cristiano Ronaldo’s anger flared up once again as Manchester United slipped to a 1-1 draw against Burnley on Tuesday night. And no apology can be expected from the Portugal international given comments he made earlier in the campaign. It was another frustrating evening for the 37-year-old, whose side now face a big challenge to finish in the Premier League top four.
United went into the match against Burnley hoping for a third Premier League win in a row, having beaten Brentford and West Ham before the winter break.
Yet while they took the lead through Paul Pogba, they ended up slipping to a draw after Jay Rodriguez notched for the Clarets.
Before the game, Ralf Rangnick risked a row with Ronaldo by leaving him on the bench.
The German explained his decision by saying: “We’ve played Burnley a couple of weeks ago and seen quite a few games here at Turf Moor, we knew in the early stages it will require a lot of running, chasing balls, a lot of fighting for second balls, so I decided to start with Edi because this kind of profile suits him.”
Then, with United needing a winner, Ronaldo was brought on.
Like many of his team-mates, however, the Portugal international was flat. He was unable to find the net, meaning he’s now on his longest goal drought in over a decade.
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After the fixture, the veteran stormed straight down the tunnel.
Ronaldo didn’t acknowledge the visiting support and it’s the latest indication that all isn’t well with the player behind the scenes.
And fans can’t expect an apology because, earlier in the campaign, he explained why he behaves the way he does.
Speaking in October, after he walked off the pitch in anger following a 1-1 draw with Everton, he made it clear he wouldn’t change for anybody.
“My reactions are what I feel at that moment,” he told Sky Sports.
“Most of the time when I talk it’s very, very positive but sometimes, depending on the game, maybe you say things that you don’t agree or whatever but it’s me.
Since that match with Everton, Ronaldo’s anger has boiled over in matches against Newcastle, Chelsea and Brentford.
And whether he can rediscover his best form in upcoming matches remains to be seen.
Many have been critical of Ronaldo but Dean Saunders, speaking on talkSPORT, has defended the Portugal international.
He feels the United star is playing with ‘dummies’ at the club and called out Scott McTominay and Fred – despite the latter not featuring at Turf Moor.
“At one point they should’ve been 3-0 up, they were running away with it,” the former striker told the station.
“Then the minute they get a bit of adversity they seem to go backwards and crumble.
“If you asked Ronaldo, ‘Who’s the worst midfield players you’ve ever played with in your career?’ Fred and [Scott] McTominay won’t be far off.
“People are starting to point the finger at Ronaldo, but he’s playing with a few dummies, some of them are not on the same wavelength as him.
“Every time the ball was shifted around the box and they were piling the pressure on Burnley the ball was going to a really good player, to Pogba, to Rashford, to Lingard, Ronaldo, they’ve got ammunition.
“They’ve got a bang-average back four and no engine room in the middle of the pitch, the players they’ve got in there are not up to the standard.”
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