Football News

Why did Cristiano Ronaldo miss the Manchester Derby? Ralf Rangnick explains why he didn’t play

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:52, 6 March 2022 | Updated: 22:22, 28 November 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo was absent from the matchday squad as Manchester United got smashed 4-1 by Manchester City.

The first-half was an even contest where United looked very bright on the break without having to carry the 37 year-old Ronaldo, and they even scored a stupendous goal with the ball flowing from back-to-front and ending with a great finish from Jadon Sancho albeit they went into the break 2-1 down.

READ MORE: Next Man Utd manager odds

After half-time, however, Manchester City upped the tempo and then put the game in a chokehold, scoring twice more and missing many other chances besides that. The game ended 4-1 and Ronaldo may even be glad to have missed it.

Prior to the game, Rangnick said that; “Cristiano had some problems with his hip flexor on Friday and since then didn’t play,” while also acknowledging that Edinson Cavani didn’t feel well enough to play.

This claim turned into wild speculation that Ronaldo was fit and Rangnick had been dropped for tactical reasons. But after the match the German coach reiterated that he wanted to play both veteran forwards and was prevented by injury.

“I don’t know,” said Rangnick when he was asked about a timeframe for Ronaldo and Cavani’s return. “I was hoping to have them available for this game but they weren’t so, I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.”

READ MORE: Premier League title odds

“Whatever goes on behind the scenes is completely irrelevant to me,” said Scott McTominay in his post-match press conference, not even getting involved in the discussion around Ronaldo. “You’ve just got to concentrate on your own game, you can get too distracted by other things that are going on at the football club.”

Bet £10, Get £20 in Free Bets T&Cs apply

18+, UK only. Deposit and place a minimum £10 cash bet at single or accumulated odds of 1/1 or greater and we will give you 1 x £5 in free bets plus an extra 3 x £5 Free Bets the following day. Applies to first cash bet only. Free bets credited as 4 x £5 bets to use on 3x Any sport & 1x Virtuals. Cashed Out, Void or Draw No Bet wagers do not qualify for this promotion. 1 x £5 Free Bets are credited upon qualifying first bet settlement, other free bets credited by midday the day after your first bet settles. 7-day free bet expiry. Available once per customer. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion. Full T&C’s apply.

18+ only. New UK customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets T&Cs apply

18+ only. Use code BET30. New Players Only. Minimum stake $/€/£ 10, minimum odds1.5, stake not returned.1X wagering the winnings from the free bet. Wagering occurs from real balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Free bet is valid for 7 Days from issue. Max conversion: $/€/£ 200. Excluded Skrill deposits. Withdrawal requests voids all active/pending bonuses. Full Terms Apply

18+ only. New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here
£20 in free bets when you place a £10 bet T&Cs apply

18+ only. £10 min. deposit required. 1 x £10 qualifying bet required. Qualifying bet must be placed on selection with min. odds of 1.8 (4/5). 4 x £5 Free Bets will be credited once the qualifying bet has been settled. 1 x Free Bet valid for any Football Match Result market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Football Correct Score market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Horse Racing market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Tennis market. Free Bets valid for 7 days once credited. T&Cs apply.

18+ only. New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here

The drama had actually begun the night before the game as rumours swirled that Ronaldo had been left out of the matchday squad for reason beyond injury. Things only intensified on Sunday morning when Ronaldo’s sister, Katia dos Santos Aveiro, liked a fan post on Instagram claiming the Portuguese striker had been dropped: “for tactical reasons, to defend himself more in the game.”

Roy Keane, for his part, didn’t believe the excuse of a hip flexor injury either. “There seems to be something more with the Ronaldo situation, the manager coming out talking about something about his hip flexor but the man is a machine and is rarely injured,” the Irishman said; “but every now and again he comes out with that about his hip flexor. It doesn’t add up to me.”

Gary Neville added that, tactically he “thought it suited United having the younger, quicker ones up-front.” So while the Red Devils did lose the game, maybe their future need not involve these two veteran superstars and their Schrödinger’s injuries.