Cristiano Ronaldo was visibly angry after Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Premier League leaders Chelsea on matchday 13 of the 2021/22 season.
The Portuguese superstar stormed down the tunnel at full-time, refusing to shake hands with the officials or his opponents after Manchester United lost two valuable points to Chelsea.
Chelsea huffed and puffed and missed a few chances to go ahead thanks to poor finishing and Manchester United’s goalkeeper, David De Gea who has rediscovered his best form after struggling for the better part of three seasons.
And Jadon Sancho opened the scoring after an uncharacteristic mistake from Chelsea skipper and Ballon D’Or candidate, Jorginho, gifted him an opportunity to go one-on-one with Edouard Mendy. The goal was against the run of play as United suffered at Stamford Bridge in the first half of the tie.
Jorginho made up for his error by slotting home a penalty 19 minutes later after Aaron Wan-Bissaka brought down Thiago Silva in a clumsy attempt to clear the ball to snatch a point for league leaders, Chelsea, to the annoyance of Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United fans.
Ronaldo was left on the bench by caretaker manager Michael Carrick, surprising everyone. The decision turned out to be a favourable one for the Red Devils, as they were able to comfortably soak up all the Chelsea pressure.
The 36-year-old replaced goalscorer Jadon Sancho after 64 minutes but was unable to make any meaningful impact in the game. He also earned a yellow card for dissent after sarcastically clapping at referee Anthony Taylor over a decision to award a Chelsea drop ball late on.
By his standards, Ronaldo had a poor game and his frustrations showed after the final whistle was blown with the way he stormed right out of the pitch through the tunnel without exchanging any greetings with opponents, fans or the officials.
Ronaldo assures United fans that ‘nothing is impossible’
The draw extended Manchester United’s run to three league games without a win – something the five-time Ballon D’Or winner was also visibly angry about.
Ronaldo showed his leadership later that evening with a tweet to Manchester United fans assuring them of his desire to keep succeeding with the team.
He tweeted via his Twitter account: “There is still a long road ahead and nothing is impossible when you play for Man. United. We will keep chasing our goals until the end!”
Ronaldo has pulled Manchester United out of many a sticky situation this season, especially in the Champions League. His six goals in the competition won 10 points for the club, which helped them qualify for the next round.
His disappointment with himself and the team was understood and he wasn’t the only one feeling this way.
Caretaker manager Micahel Carrick said post-match: “When you’re in front in a game like this, to have it taken away from you like it was is disappointing.
“We came here to win the game, we had a plan, we were positive in our mindset and in our attitude for that, so we’re a little bit disappointed, I can’t lie.”
Carrick explains that Ronaldo was on board with the team changes
Carrick’s controversial decision to leave Ronaldo out of the starting XI dominated most of the headlines before the match, but he explained that Ronaldo understood why the changes had to be made and agreed to them.
“Cristiano is probably our standout name, but it’s just game plan, ideas. I had a good chat with Cristiano actually, he was great, and we’ve decided to go like that today,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s a decision just to pick a team, to be honest. I don’t think it needs more drama than that. Everyone is fine, all the boys who have come out of the team have been terrific around the place.”
Carrick also explained his reasons to journalists after the game, as the issue of United’s dullness in the attack was raised.
“The changes I made was a feeling,” he told journalists. “We had thoughts about the game, how the game was going to go, about how we could hurt them, how we could penetrate, a little bit of freshness as well, a bit of energy some boys have played a lot of games.”