Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo benched for Chelsea clash

Tom Gott
Ronaldo has been named on the bench
Ronaldo has been named on the bench / Eric Alonso/GettyImages
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Cristiano Ronaldo has been dropped from the Manchester United lineup to face Chelsea on Sunday.

Interim boss Michael Carrick has not been afraid to make some big decisions during his short spell in charge, having dropped Bruno Fernandes for the 2-0 win over Villarreal in midweek.

He's taken it one step further this weekend, sending Ronaldo to the bench in favour of a front line which features Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Fernandes.

"I've got great options and a terrific squad to pick from," Carrick said ahead of the game, declining to dive deep into Ronaldo's absence.

"A few tweaks and changes to freshen things up. I have had a good chat with Cristiano and he was great."

This is just the second time this season that Ronaldo has been left out of United's lineup for a Premier League game, having watched over an hour of the 1-1 draw with Everton back in October before coming on.

It was after that game that Ronaldo was caught furiously muttering to himself as he walked down the tunnel.

Elsewhere, centre-back Phil Jones has made it back to the bench, a whopping 650 days since he last featured in a United squad.

A horrific knee injury robbed Jones of nearly two years of his career, but he is back and takes the spot in the squad vacated by Harry Maguire, who misses out through suspension.

Striker Mason Greenwood is also back in the setup after a spell out with COVID-19, but there is no place for left-back Luke Shaw, who suffered a second concussion in quick succession last time out against Watford.

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