January 16, 2022

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Solskjaer defends decision to start Ronaldo on bench

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Ole said he did not regret resting Cristiano Ronaldo after Manchester United let two more Premier League points slip away at Old Trafford as Everton emerged with a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

United missed the chance to move top of the Premier League and needed a late VAR call in their favour to avoid a second consecutive home league defeat.

Yerry Mina’s late winner for the Toffees was ruled out by a review for offside after Andros Townsend’s excellent equaliser had cancelled out Anthony Martial’s opener for United.

Solskjaer’s decision to start Ronaldo on the bench will be questioned as the Red Devils have now won just two of their last six games in all competitions.

But the manager defended that call and his side’s start to the season as they moved level on points with Liverpool and one ahead of champions Manchester City before those two teams clash at Anfield on Sunday.

“You make decisions throughout the season, you’ve got to manage the players’ workload,” said Solskjaer. “The decision was, for me, the correct one today.”

“We have started better than last season, but it is still not what we wanted.”

Ronaldo’s heroics deep into stoppage time against Villarreal on Wednesday saved United from having a mountain to climb to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League.

But Solskjaer did not risk the 36-year-old with a third start in a week as he took his place on a star-studded bench alongside Jadon Sancho and Paul Pogba among five changes.

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