Cristiano Ronaldo comes off the bench for Manchester United’s Premier League opener against Brighton… but wantaway forward cannot inspire comeback as Erik ten Hag loses his first competitive game in charge
- Cristiano Ronaldo was left on the bench by Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag
- Christian Eriksen played up top before Portuguese came on in second half
- United pulled one back after Pascal Gross’ double but could not force leveller
- The Portuguese star has openly said this summer that he wants to leave the club
- READ: Erik ten Hag Man United reign gets off to the worst possible start
Cristiano Ronaldo could not inspire a Manchester United comeback after being left out of the starting XI in Erik ten Hag’s first competitive game in charge.
The Red Devils suffered a 2-1 defeat against Brighton, handing the new boss his first reverse in his first game of the Premier League season at Old Trafford.
Wantaway star Ronaldo was brought on eight minutes into the second half for Fred, after Pascal Gross had given the Seagulls a 2-0 first-half lead.
Cristiano Ronaldo could not inspire a Manchester United comeback after starting on bench
Ronaldo came on for Fred in the second half of United’s 2-1 defeat by Brighton at Old Trafford
Ronaldo and his team-mates could not force home an equaliser after own goal gave them hope
Alexis Mac Allister scored an own goal to hand United hope but Ronaldo and his team-mates could not force home an equaliser.
New signing Christian Eriksen started up front at the start of the game instead of Ronaldo but dropped back into a midfield position once the Portuguese had been subbed on.
The Portuguese forward has openly stated his desire to leave the club this summer for Champions League football after United’s poor season left them in the Europa League.
The ongoing saga of whether he will stay or go has undermined new manager Erik ten Hag in his first summer.
The defeat saw new Dutch boss Erik ten Hag begin his tenure as United boss with a defeat
The Portuguese forward has openly stated his desire to leave the club this summer
Dutchman Ten Hag labelled Ronaldo’s decision to leave Old Trafford before the end of United’s last friendly, after being substituted off, ‘unacceptable’.
Pundit and club icon Gary Neville said he was ‘disappointed’ with Ronaldo for creating a ‘messy’ start to Ten Hag’s new era, while Wayne Rooney has urged United to sell his former team-mate.
In the wake of an injury to Anthony Martial, the likely starter up front if fit, Ronaldo had declared himself ‘ready’ to play against Brighton on Instagram.
Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford will play behind lone striker Eriksen, with a midfield three of Fred, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes. In defence, Lisandro Martinez makes his competitive debut, with new signing Tyrell Malacia on the bench.
The wantaway star had insisted he was ready to play before the game on Instagram (pictured)