Cristiano came on as a substitute in the Manchester United game and the cameras couldn’t stand to focus on him. Rangnick made a difficult decision, but it worked out well.
By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).
One of the images of Manchester United’s match at Ellan Road against Leeds came near the end.
In the 85th minute, Red Devils coach Ralf Rangnick decided to make a change that upset everyone, starting with the two players concerned.
The German sent Raphael Varane onto the field to defend with an extra center-back and who came on in his place was Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo with Raphael Varane and Ralf Rangnick. pic.twitter.com/RHPbw4EYCr
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) February 20, 2022
What until recently was unthinkable, to see the Portuguese player finish games early happens often with Rangnick, but what is rare is that his replacement is a defender and less so his former Real Madrid teammate, Varane.
The strategy, however, worked out well for him: Bruno Fernandes took up the false nine position and it was he who set up the action with which Anthony Elanga put the final 4-2 on the scoreboard.
Cristiano’s reaction was also the subject of analysis. The Madeira-born star looked serious, crestfallen, first surprised and then resigned, as he slowly withdrew to give way to Varane.
? No player has missed more clear-cut goalscoring chances than Cristiano Ronaldo in the Premier League in 2022 (4) pic.twitter.com/ORTKRYnRzK
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 21, 2022
The Frenchman also had to dress quickly when Rangnick told him he was coming on the pitch. His role was to close down the backbone of the defense alongside Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, two highly questionable players.
After being 2-0 up, Manchester United suffered two goals in two minutes and Leeds was in the game.
— Karen Mwakio (@karenmwakio) February 20, 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo did not have a good game and was not involved in the game, but we know that he is a historic striker who – at 37 years of age – tends to be in charge of scoring rather than creating chances.
When United could have taken the lead again, the German coach made a difficult decision: to hold on to the result by taking off his top star, who was not involved in the game.
At a time when there is speculation about Cristiano’s anger with Rangnick, fights between the Portuguese and the poor defender Maguire for the captaincy of the team, and rumors about a possible exit from the team due to the lack of participation in the Champions League, this action was like adding fuel to the fire.