In pictures: Brentford v Man Utd
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Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes players will learn from Cristiano Ronaldo’s hunger and desire after the veteran threw a tantrum in his team’s 3-1 win over Brentford on Wednesday. Goals from Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford gave Ralf Rangnick’s team all three points. Yet Ronaldo’s strop threatened to cast a cloud over the night.
With United 2-0 up after goals from Elanga and Greenwood, Rangnick decided to bring Ronaldo off.
Given the 36-year-old has only just come back from injury, and the match already appeared to be won, it was certainly a logical decision.
However, Ronaldo took issue with his manager’s call by venting his anger at his manager – spitting his gum out onto the pitch in the process.
Some have criticised the Portugal international in the wake of his actions.
But Ferdinand thinks his hunger and determination means United players will learn from his old team-mate, who was unable to find the net at the Community Stadium.
“He’s looking to score goals,” said Ferdinand, who spent six years playing alongside Ronaldo.
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“He sees goals there. Two nil up, he’s thinking right I’ve got the chance to nail a couple in and get up the goal-scoring charts.
“You see the disappointment but the manager I thought he handled it well.
“He spoke to him on the side, talking about the bigger picture. Long-term.
“When they got to two nil you wanted to make sure that they managed the game. Ronaldo, when the goal was scored, he was on at his teammates at that moment in time.
“As soon as that goal went in, ‘we defend properly, stay in your slot.’
“They will feed off him and I think it’s important that those young players – when you have a player like that in your dressing room you’ve got to feed off it.
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“I went into a changing room full of winners, full of people who had win multiple league titles and I sat there like a sponge.
“Looking at the little details how they prepare, the way that they sort themselves out after a game, the way they get up for games, the way they eat.
“You’ve got to take in every element that is there at your finger tips when you have someone like that.
“These young players are in a fortunate position to be in with someone like him.
“Yeah, he moans and throws his toys out of the pram but when you’re with someone like that you have to take all the goodness out of it.”
Ferdinand believes Rangnick now has a big issue due to Elanga’s form, with Rashford potentially the one to miss out.
“I don’t know, it’s difficult for the manager,” he said when asked what Rangnick does with Rashford now.
“It’s who you’re playing against.
“Which out of Elanga, Greenwood and Rashford suit playing against the opposition and exploit their weaknesses more.
“I think that’s what the manager will look at. If you’re Elanga or Greenwood you sit there and go, ‘I’ve affected the game, I scored a goal so how are you going to take me out the starting lineup?’
“So, it’s good for the manager to have those problems.”
Meanwhile, regarding Ronaldo, Rangnick downplayed his talisman’s sulks when quizzed on the matter after the match.
“Okay, it is normal,” he said.
“As a striker, he wants to score goals.
“He came back from a little injury so for me it was important to bear in mind we have another game in three days time.
“On the other hand, we were two-nil up, the same result we had at Villa Park and I decided to make sure we defend that lead this time.
“I think it was the right decision to switch to a back five.
“We scored the third goal and then in the end, we would have wanted to keep a clean sheet and unfortunately we didn’t manage to keep a clean sheet, but at least we made sure nothing happened anymore.”
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