Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson criticises Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for benching Cristiano Ronaldo

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Ferguson is not pleased with Ole
Ferguson is not pleased with Ole / VI-Images/Getty Images

Sir Alex Ferguson was not happy with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Everton.

Solskjaer opted to omit Ronaldo from the starting lineup on Saturday with Edinson Cavani preferred up front, alongside Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.

United took the lead in the game through Martial just before half time but always looked threatened by Everton on the counter. The Toffees eventually grabbed an equaliser through Andros Townsend and might have won the game if Yerry Mina's goal was not ruled out for offside and Tom Davies had been more clinical.

Ronaldo was introduced as a second-half substitute, replacing Cavani just before the hour mark, but the decision not to start him is one that perplexed Ferguson.

Captured on video talking to UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov in the Old Trafford directors' lounge, Sir Alex made it known that he didn't agree with Solskjaer.

"I also think that when they saw Ronaldo wasn’t playing …" Ferguson said. He is then interrupted by Khabib, who replied: "He came on in the second half." Ferguson followed that up by saying: "I know but you should always start with your best players."

The Everton result did little to relieve the pressure on Solskjaer with United winning just one of their last four games in all competitions; that one victory being a 2-1 triumph over Villarreal in which Ronaldo bagged a last-minute winner.

Solskjaer recently insisted that he is the man to get the best out of United's squad and it appears that the board have similar faith in the Norwegian.

His assistant manager, Mike Phelan, was recently handed a new deal until June 2024, and that contract now runs parallel with Solskjaer's current terms.

When the Red Devils return from international duty, United will have the opportunity to get back to winning ways when they face Leicester City on Saturday 16 October.