Erik ten Hag to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo after early exit down tunnel

Erik ten Hag to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo after early exit down tunnel
Cristiano Ronaldo, ยฉ PA Wire/PA Images

By PA Sport Staff

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says he will deal with Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday after the Portuguese walked down the tunnel before the end of the 2-0 win over Tottenham.

Ronaldo was named on the bench against Spurs and saw his team-mates take control of the game thanks to second-half goals from Fred and Bruno Fernandes.

After Ten Hag had made it clear he would not be coming on, Ronaldo made a quick exit, which could land him in hot water.


“I don’t pay attention to that, I will deal with that tomorrow,” the Dutchman said.


“I want to keep the focus on the team, it was a magnificent performance from all the 11 players.

“It was a performance also from the subs that came on. It was a squad performance. We deal with that tomorrow.

“What we have seen today was 11 players who defend, 11 players who attack, there was a lot of dynamic.

“I am pleased with that. I will not say I am satisfied because good is not good enough, that has to be the standard at Manchester United.”


He added on Amazon Prime Video: “I have seen him [leaving], I didn’t speak to him after. I will deal with that tomorrow.

“Today I enjoyed the performance. We are celebrating this victory and now we have to recover from this and we have a big game against Chelsea, the Premier League is so exciting.”

It is little surprise that Ten Hag did not turn to Ronaldo after describing his side’s win as the best performance of the season.

United overpowered a poor Tottenham side and would have won by a far bigger margin had Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris not put in an inspired display.

In the end, Fred’s deflected effort 76 seconds after the restart and Fernandes’ sweet finish was enough for the three points, which follows home wins over Liverpool and Arsenal.

Ten Hag added: “I am pleased with the team, I think it was the best team performance so far this season, so you see a team developing, you already see the last weeks the way we want to play.

Antonio Conte and Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag, right, saw his side produce a fine display at Old Trafford (Nick Potts/PA)

“We get every day better on the pitch. Not every game will be like today but Spurs is a magnificent team and it was really enjoyable to watch.”

Spurs remain third in the Premier League table, but boss Antonio Conte is not fooled.

This defeat comes hot on the heels of a dismal display in the north London derby earlier this month and scraping a draw at Chelsea in April.

And the Italian said the club need to analyse why they struggle in the big games.

“For sure not a good game for us but I have to be honest and first of all, especially with my players, this was not the first time for us, despite the table being good but every time we played a high level game we struggle,” he said.

Hugo Lloris
Hugo Lloris made a string of fine saves for Spurs (Nick Potts/PA)

“We struggled against Chelsea because we drew after 92 minutes but Chelsea dominated the game and with Arsenal we lost and today against United we lost.

“For sure when the level is high, we are going to struggle. This means we have to continue to work to try to improve, to work on the pitch and to work outside the pitch.

“We can improve, we need to continue to work and for sure it is right with the club also to analyse very well why when we are going to play this type of game where the level is very high we are struggling.”

Despite being four points off leaders Arsenal, Conte laughed off suggestions his side are title contenders.

“Sometimes I listen that we are title contenders and I think we need time, in only 10 or 11 months, you cannot pass from ninth place to become the title contenders a year after, especially when you finish 20 points less than the monsters in England,” he added.

“We don’t forget last season United failed the season, otherwise United has to stay for the story always in Champions League.”