Cristiano Ronaldo: Erik ten Hag says he will ‘get over’ the star’s early exit in the 2-0 win over Tottenham.


Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has said he will wait until Thursday to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo’s early departure during the team’s 2-0 win over Tottenham.

Ronaldo, who had limited playing time under ten Hag and tried to force a move from United before the start of the season, was an unused substitute in Wednesday’s game.

Instead of staying until the final whistle, the Portuguese striker went down the tunnel and had a few minutes left to play at Old Trafford – just after ten Hag Christian Eriksen and Anthony Elanga came on.

“I’m not paying attention to that today, we’ll take care of that tomorrow,” the Netherlands coach told reporters when asked about Ronaldo’s early departure. “I want to focus on this team. It was a great achievement.”

Ronaldo looked unhappy when he was substituted in the 72nd minute of United’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle on Sunday, a decision ten Hag said was to keep his strikers fresh ahead of busy play.

Ronaldo has scored just once in his eight appearances this season – six of them on the bench.

Former England striker Gary Lineker told the BBC it was “unacceptable” and “so bad” that the 37-year-old left the game early.

Against Tottenham, Fred’s deflected shot put United ahead early in the second half before Bruno Fernandes increased the home side’s advantage from the edge of the box.

It was largely thanks to the excellence of Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris that United scored just two goals and the win moved them up to fifth in the Premier League table.

In an unsuccessful season, ten Hag’s side have now recorded wins against Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal and humiliating defeats at the hands of Brentford and Manchester City.

Next up is a trip to Chelsea on Saturday while Tottenham play Newcastle at home.