Cristiano Ronaldo says Manchester United fans “deserve better” following the club’s recent 5-0 collapse against bitter rivals Liverpool.
The Red Devils suffered a humiliation at home against their age-old adversaries on Sunday, with Jurgen Klopp’s men running riot in front of a capacity crowd, and Mohamed Salah becoming the first Premier League player to score a hat-trick at Old Trafford.
The Merseysiders scented blood from minute one and went for the jugular, with goals from Naby Keita and Diogo Jota putting the visitors 2-0 up by the 13th minute, before Salah grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and went on a scoring spree.
Boos were audible at half-time as Man Utd entered the dressing room four goals down, and their troubles would only get worse after the restart as Salah completed his hat-trick, Paul Pogba picked up a red card for a dangerous challenge on Keita, and Ronaldo had a goal ruled out for offside upon inspection from VAR.
The post-match narrative, from a Man Utd perspective, has been heavily focused on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and whether the Norwegian will face the sack, but thus far he has avoided the chopping block, though Ronaldo says the club’s fans “deserve better” than what is currently being delivered.
“Sometimes the result is not the one we fight for. Sometimes the score is not the one we want. And this is on us, only on us, because there’s no one else to blame,” Ronaldo wrote in an Instagram post.
“Our fans were, once again, amazing in their constant support. They deserve better than this, much better, and it’s up to us to deliver.
“The time is now!”
Ronaldo at Man Utd so far
It was not his afternoon on Sunday as the Portuguese star struggled to haul his side back into the match, with that aforementioned goal ruled out for offside and his frustration tangible following a ‘kick out’ at young Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones, which earned him a yellow card from referee Anthony Taylor.
In fact, the 36-year-old hasn’t had much scoring luck in recent outings following an explosive return to Old Trafford, in which he scored three Premier League goals in his opening two games. He has fired a blank in each of his last for league games, though has produced in all three Champions League matches.
Goals against Young Boys and late winners over Villarreal and Atalanta have further consolidated Ronaldo’s status as the Champions League’s most prolific player, but there will be some concerns from fans as the Portugal international’s scoring drought of four games continues to go on in the Premier League.