Premier League: Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick responded to Roy Keane’s comments that Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence during Sunday’s 4-1 Manchester derby defeat was more than just injury worries.
Cristiano Ronaldo missed the Manchester derby with a hip injury (Reuters Photo)
- Cristiano Ronaldo missed out on United’s 4-1 defeat in the Manchester derby
- Rangnick reiterated that Ronaldo missed the marquee game due to a hip injury
- United fell out of the top 4 of the Premier League table
Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has dismissed speculation that Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence in Sunday’s 4-1 defeat by rivals City in the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium was more than an injury concern. Rangnick had confirmed Ronaldo would not be traveling to Eithad for the 187th Manchester derby due to a flexion injury.
However, questions have been raised about Ronaldo’s absence from one of the Premier League marquee games. Former captain Roy Keane said Ronaldo rarely gets injured and Rangnick’s claims before the game didn’t materialize.
United were beaten 4-1 in the absence of Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, who were also sidelined through injury. Riyad Mahrez and Kevin de Bruyne each scored a brace when Jadon Sancho’s great curling goal in the first half went in vain.
“The doctor came to me on Friday and told me Cristiano couldn’t train because of a problem with his hip flexor and the same was true on Saturday and that’s why he couldn’t be part of the squad,” Rangnick said.
“It’s just a fact, when players tell the medical department that they’re injured and can’t play, I have to accept that,” he added.
United were also without their Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani through injury, but Rangnick said he was fit enough to train.
“Edi has been training for the last three days, he’s been training well, but after those three training sessions yesterday afternoon he still felt like he was still not fit to play. That’s a fact. As a coach, I can’t force a player , if he doesn’t.” feel fit enough or good enough to play,” said the German tactician.
‘CAN LEAVE NO MORE POINTS’
United have slipped out of the top four following their defeat and Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Watford left them a point behind the Gunners after they had played three games more and Rangnick said there was little room for error. United are 5th with 47 points from 28 games, 1 point behind Arsenal who have played 3 games less.
“I didn’t really expect Arsenal to lose at Watford so we know that if we still want a chance to finish fourth at the end of the season we can hardly lose any more points,” he said.