Cristiano Ronaldo: Manchester United striker must face consequences, says Erik ten Hag


Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says there “must be consequences” after Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed he refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham on Wednesday.

Ronaldo, 37, left Old Trafford before full-time after leaving the bench and walking down the tunnel in the 89th minute of United’s 2-0 win.

He has been withdrawn for Saturday’s game at Chelsea and is training alone.

Asked directly if Ronaldo refused to come, the Ten Hag said: “Yes.”

He added that the Portugal international did the same during the break in the friendly against the opposition Vallecano Ray in the preseason, he felt he had to perform.

“The discussion is between Cristiano and me. The statement is clear. Even in the statement he remains an important part of the lineup,” said Ten Hag.

“I’m the director, I’m responsible for the culture here. I have to set standards and values ​​and I have to control them. We’re a team.

“After Rayo Vallecano, I said it was unacceptable, but it wasn’t just him. There must be consequences in the second period. That’s what happened.

“We miss him tomorrow, that’s missing for us and for the team, but I think it’s important for the attitude and mentality of the team and now we have to focus on Chelsea, that’s the most important thing.”

Ronaldo’s actions have been widely criticised, with Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker calling them “unacceptable” and former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel saying it was the first time he had ever been “disappointed” with the player.

On Thursday, Ronaldo said the “heat of the moment” got to him, although he stopped short of apologizing.

He has scored just one goal in eight Premier League games this season, and has also shown his displeasure at being substituted. Sunday’s 0-0 home draw with Newcastle.

United go into Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge just one point behind fifth-placed Chelsea and the Ten Hag said his players will not be distracted by this week’s drama.

“It’s part of playing top-level football,” he said.

“There are rumors and noise and you can’t be distracted, you have to keep working and get results.”

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