Manchester United

Michael Carrick downplays dropping Cristiano Ronaldo against Chelsea

Jude Summerfield
Ronaldo appeared as a substitute against Chelsea
Ronaldo appeared as a substitute against Chelsea / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Michael Carrick has downplayed his decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo from the Manchester United starting XI that drew 1-1 with Chelsea on Sunday.

Ronaldo was surprisingly left on the bench as the Red Devils set up to frustrate their hosts. The plan went reasonably well as Jadon Sancho netted the opener, with Ronaldo later appearing as his replacement before Jorginho equalised from the penalty spot.

The Portugal international is expected to come back into the starting lineup for the fixture with Arsenal on Thursday, and Carrick claimed ahead of that game that his decision at the weekend has been blown out of proportion.

He said: "I think those type of decisions get blown up really, I think a lot are. When you're inside it, the team or the club, decisions are made for a lot of different reasons. Of course, certain ones get bigger news than others but that's how it was.

"I didn't see anything to make a decision, it certainly wasn't within the camp or the group. We all got on really well, the game went well to an extent as well, and it wasn't a drama at all."

There has been some debate over whether Ronaldo will fit into incoming interim manager Ralf Rangnick's style of play, with the German favouring a pressing style which some pundits have claimed isn't the former Juventus and Real Madrid man's specialty.

When it comes to pure goalscoring, Ronaldo has started the season well. He has netted four times in the Premier League, with another six coming in the Champions League.

He has been United's main goal threat up front, with Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood also scoring four goals apiece in England's top flight.

Currently sitting eighth, United will hope to cut the gap to the teams chasing Champions League qualification above them when they host Arsenal on Thursday.

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