Ralf Rangnick offers no apology to Cristiano Ronaldo after the Manchester United star’s furious reaction to being substituted against Brentford… and tells him he would do it again in the same situation
- Cristiano Ronaldo struggled to have a major impact against Brentford
- He was taken off by Ralf Rangnick and was visibly frustrated on the touchline
- Rangnick said afterwards that he wants to protect the striker for future games
- Ronaldo also threw his tracksuit down an annoyance after it was handed to him
Cristiano Ronaldo threw a strop after being subbed at Brentford and Ralf Rangnick warned he would happily haul him off again in the future but insisted he has no problem with the Portuguese superstar.
Ronaldo was fuming when he was replaced by Harry Maguire in the 71st minute with United 2-0 up and Rangnick keen to switch to a back three to protect his side’s lead.
Ronaldo trudged off muttering to himself, threw his jacket to the ground in frustration as he sat down on the bench and was later seen questioning the decision to withdraw him.
Cristiano Ronaldo was visibly angry at Ralf Rangnick’s decision to bring him off
The forward clearly felt he was denied the chance to score with the game breaking open
Rangnick had the last word though turning to Ronaldo after Marcus Rashford, who came on along with Maguire, then scored United’s third.
Rangnick said: ‘He was asking me “why me, why do you take me off?” Cristiano was not happy.
‘I said “listen I have to take the decision in the interests of the team and the club.”
‘We had exactly the same situation five days ago at Villa park, 2-0 up with 15 minutes to play [and drew] and we didn’t want to make the same mistake. I decided to switch to a back five, bring on [Harry] Maguire and Marcus [Rashford] as another fast winger and I think it was the right decision.
‘I said “I understand you’re still ambitious and you want to score yourself but maybe in a couple of years when you’re a head coach you will hopefully take the same decision and be in the same role that I was after 75 minutes.”
‘I didn’t expect him to hug me. He is a goal-scorer and he would have wished to stay on and maybe score but it was more important to be compact and have enough legs and strong headers to defend their set pieces and when we scored the third goal I said exactly that to him.
‘I have no issues whatsoever with Cristiano. He came back from a little injury, didn’t train for one and half weeks and being 2-0 up with 15 minutes to play, having players like Marcus, Anthony Martial why should I not make use of that and that’s why I would always do it again in a situation like that.’
United were indebted to David de Gea for keeping them in the game in the first half before Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood and Rashford struck clinically after the break to earn a victory that moved Rangnick’s men to within two points of fourth-placed West Ham.
Ronaldo sat on the steps rather than in a seat among the other players after coming off
He then moved up to sit in a chair but was unable to disguise his disgust
Ivan Toney pulled a late goal back for Brentford, who have now lost five of their last six but remain 10 points above the bottom three.
Brentford Manager Thomas Frank said: ‘We are the smallest club in the Premier League, Manchester United the biggest. We destroyed them in the first half, they didn’t have a sniff. It’s a miracle they weren’t 2-0 down. De Gea was by far the best United player. They are unbelievably lucky. The way we smashed them in the first half was fantastic. So proud of my team.
‘There should only be one winner and that was us. The most they deserved was a draw.’