Erik Ten Hag: My decision to drop Ronaldo against Manchester City was out of respect’

Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag has stated that “respect” for Cristiano Ronaldo’s career stopped him from playing the forward in Sunday’s 6-3 Manchester derby defeat.

Ten Hag’s first Manchester derby was a forgettable experience for the United manager, who watched on as his side were hammered by their local rivals.

Although the Dutchman made five changes in the contest, Ronaldo remained on the bench, failing to feature in a United game for the first time this season.

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When questioned on the decision after the match, Ten Hag told reporters: “I didn’t bring him on out of respect for his big career.

“And the other thing, there was then the advantage I could bring Antony Martial on. He needs the minutes but I don’t want to point it out like that.”

While he has started both of the club’s Europa League group games, Ronaldo has only been included in one Premier League starting lineup this season.

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