Cristiano Ronaldo dropped for Manchester United’s trip to Chelsea after leaving Tottenham game

Cristiano Ronaldo has been dropped for Manchester United’s trip to Chelsea on Saturday as punishment for refusing to go on as a late substitute and for leaving early in Wednesday’s win over Tottenham.

Ronaldo was named among the substitutes against Spurs as United earned an impressive 2-0 victory over Antonio Conte’s side thanks to goals from Fred and Bruno Fernandes.

Erik ten Hag’s decision not to bring Ronaldo on prompted a public display of frustration as the 37-year-old walked down the Old Trafford touchline and up the tunnel before the full-time whistle.

Ronaldo is now expected to train away from the first-team squad.

Ronaldo: Sometimes the heat of the moment gets the best of us

Ronaldo released a statement on Thursday, which said: “As I’ve always done throughout my career, I try to live and play respectfully towards my colleagues, my adversaries and my coaches. That hasn’t changed. I haven’t changed.

“I’m the same person and the same professional that I’ve been for the last 20 years playing elite football, and respect has always played a very important role in my decision-making process.

“I started very young, the older and most experienced players’ examples were always very important to me. Therefore, later on, I’ve always tried to set the example myself for the youngsters that grew in all the teams that I’ve represented.

“Unfortunately that’s not always possible and sometimes the heat of the moment gets the best of us.

“Right now, I just feel I have to keep working hard in Carrington, support my team-mates and be ready for everything in any given game. Giving in to the pressure is not an option. It never was.

“This is Manchester United and united we must stand. Soon we’ll be together again.”

Man Utd reaching end of the road with Ronaldo?

Sky Sports football journalist Jack Wilkinson:

Cristiano Ronaldo has a habit of grabbing the headlines, but not even his sulking departure could detract from another encouraging stride in the right direction taken by Erik ten Hag’s players.

Ronaldo, an unused substitute, was unhappy with the watching brief he was handed as goals from Fred and Bruno Fernandes earned a deserved 2-0 victory over Tottenham, but when United perform to such a high level, his frustrations are baseless.

From start to finish, United took a poor Spurs side to task, demonstrating their continued adaptation to Ten Hag’s methods with an attacking display as comprehensive as any seen at Old Trafford in memory, let alone since the Dutchman took charge.

United’s 28 attempts on goal was the most by any side in a Premier League match this season, the most Antonio Conte had ever conceded in his top-flight managerial career, and had it not been for the heroics of Hugo Lloris, the scoreline would have been just as emphatic.

With Ronaldo on the bench against Liverpool, Arsenal and now Spurs, games United have won with increasing proficiency, it’s clear the club’s transition to life without him is already under way. His petulance will only speed that up.

‘The only way is Ten Hag’s way’

Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan on Sky Sports News:

“I don’t think it will be a calm conversation. We have seen in the past in Holland when he was dealing with stars in his squad that he would make sure who was in charge.

“He is also known as a manager who is very stable, he’s never been up or down in all his roles, his discipline, it’s always been the same. That’s also where his success comes from.

“It is the first time in his career that he’s dealing with the calibre of Cristiano Ronaldo. Never before has that kind of star acted against him. He said in the summer Ronaldo was one of his most important players. If he’s fit, he will always be there, he said.

“He missed pre-season and Ten Hag made it very clear that was vital. There’s only one way and it’s the Erik ten Hag way. This is what will happen in today’s conversation.

“It was interesting that he said last night that he would deal with it tomorrow. In the past he has not been shy of confronting somebody. There is a famous incident, only two years ago, with Noa Lang, a Dutch international, who was giving him a mouthful on the pitch in a big cup game.

“Ten Hag came off the bench and made very clear that was not accepted by him, shouted to him on the touchline in front of every television camera so everybody could hear it and the public behind the dugout. ‘I decide what happens here and it’s not your game, it is a team’s game!’ That was all audible. It also showed it’s all about the team.

“I expect Ronaldo not to be part of the squad at United unless there is big financial motives for the club to keep him on if they have to give him too much money to go.”

It’s not the first time: Ronaldo’s previous early exits

Ronaldo has a history of walkouts since he returned to the club 14 months ago.

The 37-year-old was an unused substitute during United’s 2-0 win over Spurs on Wednesday and was seen walking down the touchline and up the tunnel in the closing stages of the match.

Earlier this season, Ronaldo was also seen leaving Old Trafford before the end of a 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano during the club’s final pre-season friendly in August.

In October last year, Ronaldo was captured marching alone down the tunnel, seemingly muttering in frustration, after United were held to a 1-1 draw against Everton, for whom Andros Townsend scored and then mimicked the Portugal forward’s trademark goal celebration.

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