Manchester United v Everton: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains team selection with Cristiano Ronaldo benched

Ronaldo among five changes from dramatic late win over Villarreal on Wednesday

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Saturday 02 October 2021 12:15
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<p>Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo</p>

Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rested Cristiano Ronaldo as part of five changes against Everton due to the quick turnaround between games, the Manchester United manager said.

Ronaldo scored a dramatic late winner in Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Villarreal but was named as a substitute in a Premier League game for the first time since his return to Old Trafford.

Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani were instead handed starts in Solskjaer's attack, while Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho were among the substitutes.

Luke Shaw returned to the starting line-up after recovering from an illness earlier this week and Aaron Wan-Bissaka returned following his European suspension.

Solskjaer was unhappy with the scheduling of Saturday's meeting with Everton as a lunchtime kick-off, having only come through against Villarreal three days earlier, and confirmed that the lack of rest between games had affected his selection.

“Wednesday night was a big effort, a big emotional and physical output. We needed to freshen it up when it's an early kick off," Solskjaer explained.

“The start will be very important, we've got very good players coming on as well. It's a team we believe will take charge in the game.

“[The substitutes] might be required. They’re all ready to come on. We’ve had a chat about subs making an impact. It might be the case today.”

On the inclusion of Martial and Cavani, Solskjaer added: “There's always a point to prove always when you're on the pitch.

“They know they're good players and will be important for us. If we're going to be successful this season we need to rotate, manage the minutes and make sure we're a big squad together.”

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