Cristiano Ronaldo dropped by Michael Carrick for Manchester United game at Chelsea

The Portuguese is not included in the Red Devils’ XI at Stamford Bridge

Jack Rathborn
Monday 29 November 2021 14:04
Michael Carrick refutes suggestion Ralf Rangnick picked Man Utd team at Chelsea
Leer en Español

Cristiano Ronaldo starts on the bench for Manchester United at Chelsea in the Premier League this afternoon.

Carrick guided the Red Devils to victory at Villarreal as interim manager following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacked last Sunday.

And what appears to be his final game in charge before Ralf Rangnick replaces him, the former United midfielder has opted to make a statement by dropping the Portuguese superstar.

It is just the fourth time Ronaldo has started from the bench in a league game in nine seasons.

Perhaps in an effort to firstly stop the Blues, Carrick has gone for Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho to lead the line, providing in theory more of a threat on the counter-attack.

The move also provides a free role for Bruno Fernandes, with Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay shielding the United back line.

It is just the second time all three midfielders have started in the Premier League.

Carrick told Sky Sports: “A few tweaks and changes to freshen things up, of course Cristiano is the standout name, but it’s just a game plan and idea. I had a good chat with Cristiano, we decided to go with that.

“It’s a decision to pick a team to be honest, I don’t think it needs more than that. Everybody has been terrific, Cristiano included, he’s ready to come on if needed to come and win the game. We’ve come with a plan, we’re happy with the team we’ve picked and we’re looking forward to the game.

“That’s your opinion [that the United line-up is designed to stop Chelsea], we’ve come here looking forward to the game and trying to win the game. It’s a tough game, obviously, Chelsea are playing ever so well. A great run of games and some massive results, but it’s one we’re relishing. We’ve had a good week considering the situation.

“We had two games to prepare the team, me and my staff, that’s the ideas we’ve got and the plan we’ve gone with.”

Chelsea XI: Mendy, Chalobah, Rüdiger, Silva, Jorginho, Alonso, Loftus-Cheek, James, Hudson-Odoi, Werner, Ziyech

Chelsea subs: Barkley, Christensen, Mount, Arrizabalaga, Ñíguez, Lukaku, Havertz, Pulisic, Azpilicueta

Manchester United XI: De Gea, Bailly, Lindelöf, Wan-Bissaka, Telles, McTominay, Matic, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford

Manchester United subs: Henderson, Martial, Jones, Mata, Lingard, Ronaldo, Greenwood, Dalot, Van de Beek

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in