Composed finishes by Jadon Sancho in the 16th minute and Marcus Rashford in the 53rd earned a victory at Old Trafford against Liverpool that will bring some respite for under-pressure manager Erik ten Hag, who made a huge statement in his team selection by dropping star striker Cristiano Ronaldo and club captain Harry Maguire and was validated.
“I wanted a different attitude and that is what I saw them bring on the pitch,” Ten Hag had said after match. Ten Hag started his tenure at United amid something of a crisis at England’s biggest club. “But it’s only the start.”
According to The Sun, ahead of the Liverpool clash, the Manchester United manager called a 2-hour meeting, where he urged his players to air any issues with him or their teammates without any consequences. And he used it as an opportunity to make his stance on Ronaldo clear amid intense speculation surrounding his Old Trafford future.
Ten Hag is understood to be tired of the circus the 37-year-old is attaching to the start of his rebuild at United and ‘just wants him out’ of the club before the September 1 transfer deadline.
The report claims that after insisting on starting the discussion by axing Ronaldo, he invited every member of his squad to speak up ahead of the daunting task against Liverpool. But the Portuguese icon didn’t make his thoughts known, even after the United boss informed him and captain Harry Maguire that he planned to drop them for the Reds’ high-profile visit to Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo says he will reveal the truth in a couple of weeks after constant speculation about his future at the club.
Ronaldo, who rejoined United a year ago from Juventus, has a year left on his contract. He was their top scorer last season with 24 goals in all competitions but was criticized by Ten Hag after leaving a pre-season match against Rayo Vallecano early after being substituted at halftime.
United missed out on the Champions League last season, finishing sixth in the Premier League, and have suffered a dreadful start to the new campaign, losing both their opening games, before they delivered a performance of intensity and spirit to beat fierce rival Liverpool 2-1.