Cristiano Ronaldo has been dropped from Michael Carrick’s starting side as Manchester United prepare to face off with Chelsea.
Ronaldo, alongside Donny van de Beek, was named among the Red Devils substitutes as Carrick made the bold call against the Premier League table-toppers.
Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho will make up United’s attack at Stamford Bridge, while Bruno Fernandes has also been recalled by the Englishman.
Sunday afternoon will be Carrick’s first Premier League fixture as caretaker for the Red Devils.
But his decision to drop Ronaldo from the starting side has caused outrage among United fans on social media.
One fan tweeted: “Wow 3 holding midfielders, ‘Mcfred’ with an extra sprinkle of an ageing Matic and no Ronaldo vs Chelsea… Ralph get your working permit was fast-tracked mate!”
“Already took notes from ole’s mistakes, at least he actually wants to win games for the club,” another added.
A third fumed: “Why does Carrick bench Ronaldo lmao It’s not the right time. We need to use our players properly. Look what happened when we were against Villarreal they dominated the first half just because he didn’t put in Rashford.”
“[Lionel] Messi lifting his 7th Ballon D’or while Ronaldo is getting benched in big games,” a fourth added.
“It is a decision to pick a team, we don’t need any more drama than that,” Carrick confirmed to BBC Sport ahead of kick-off.
“Everyone who has come out of the team has been terrific around the place – including Cristiano – and have been supporting the boys.”
“A few tweaks and changes to freshen things up.
“Anthony and Donny (benched) too and Cristiano Ronaldo is your standout name. I have had a good chat with Cristiano and he was great.”
The news of Ronaldo’s omission from the starting side comes just days after news of Ralf Rangnick’s imminent arrival.
Rangnick championed ‘gegenpressing’ the high-intensity football that have seen Jurgen Klopp’sLiverpool reach the pinnacle of European football.
There have been questions if Ronaldo is right player for the system Rangnick is hoping to implement.
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