Cristiano Ronaldo blamed for Ralf Rangnick decision on Man United player Marcus Rashford

Cristiano Ronaldo has been blamed for Manchester United replacing Marcus Rashford on Saturday in their defeat to Everton.

United struggled on Merseyside and fell behind thanks to a deflected strike by Anthony Gordon in the 27th minute. Ralf Rangnick’s side were arguably the better side in the opening 25 minutes with Rashford — who looked brighter than in recent weeks — being denied twice by smart saves from Jordan Pickford.

Following the only goal of the game, Rangnick’s team failed to fashion many chances of note and remained 1-0 down. In an attempt to create more going forwards, the interim boss made a double swap which saw Juan Mata and Anthony Elanga come on for Nemanja Matic and Rashford.

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Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson felt that Rashford was unlucky to be taken off at Everton but believes that Ronaldo was to blame for Rangnick’s decision. He explained: “Rangnick brought off Marcus Rashford at Everton when he was United’s best player because he didn’t want a repeat of what happened earlier in the season at Brentford.

“I was at that game and it was embarrassing. He shouldn’t have to justify his decision as he’s the manager.

“At Ronaldo’s age, you can’t play every game. United need Rashford more than they need Ronaldo going forward.

“The other week, they had Edinson Cavani alongside Ronaldo up front. It needs to stop sooner rather than later, otherwise this club is just going to fizzle out from being the biggest in the world.

“They won’t be for much longer at this rate.” Ronaldo stormed off the pitch at Brentford earlier this season when he was substituted during a victory over the Bees.

The Portuguese ace was seen chucking his coat to the ground on the bench following Rangnick’s decision in London. United’s defeat at Everton means that the Reds are six points behind fourth placed Tottenham and are staring at a season without European football.

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