Manchester United v Everton: Match in pictures
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Cristiano Ronaldo has been criticised by former Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville for ‘putting immense pressure’ on boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The United boss has come under fire for his decision to start Ronaldo on the bench in the 1-1 draw with Everton.
The Portuguese star has made a fast start to life back at Old Trafford, netting five times in just six games.
But Solskjaer elected to start Anthony Martial after selecting Ronaldo for the midweek Champions League game over Villarreal – where Ronaldo got him out of jail with a last-gasp winner.
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Martial justified Solskjaer’s selection by firing United ahead. But Andros Townsend struck to ensure Everton snatched a point.
Ronaldo was visibly annoyed after the game, with the Portugal star barely featuring during his second half cameo role.
The 36-year-old was seen storming down the tunnel at the final whistle – and has been slammed by Neville.
“I watched the game and I watched him walk off. I can’t say I like it,” Neville told his podcast.
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“Is Cristiano upset when he doesn’t play? Yes. Is he upset when he doesn’t score? Yes. Is Cristiano annoyed as hell when the team doesn’t win? Of course. We know these things, he doesn’t need to prove that.
“He walked off the pitch muttering to himself which in some ways throws the questions up in the air. “What’s he saying? Who’s he annoyed with?” And it can only come back to the manager.
“So I do think actions like that – Ronaldo is smart enough to know – will bring real pressure, more pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“It is what it is but I think that has to be managed in the next couple of months. Cristiano won’t always score and can’t play every single game, but I think if he’s going to walk off like that it’s going to put immense pressure on Ole.
“There’s no doubt the talk after the game was about the manager.”
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Pressure is beginning to mount on Solskjaer, with United managing just one win in their last four games.
To make matters worse, all of those results have come at Old Trafford.
It leaves the United boss needing a reaction, with Neville admitting that Solskjaer knows “it’s make or break this season”.
“There’s no doubt the club lost its way after Fergie left. Ole has returned some of the values back to the club. There’s a group there who do want to play for the club,” he added.
‘The signings have been a lot like Manchester United, but I do feel now with the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho… they’re recognised world-class talents, and with that comes a pressure to deliver.
‘Ole knows it’s make or break this season. You have to win a trophy with players like that.
‘So he needs to look after himself, be selfish and make sure he manages Cristiano in such a way and has a word with him to say, “look, come on, if you’re going to do that, do it in the changing room because ultimately that does bring extra pressure on me.”
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