Pundit blasts ‘disrespectful’ Cristiano Ronaldo decision as Man Utd hammered in derby

Manchester United made five changes against Manchester City at the weekend, while Cristiano Ronaldo watched on.

Graeme Souness has slammed Erik ten Hag’s treatment of Cristiano Ronaldo following Manchester United’s defeat at the weekend.

The Red Devils were thrashed 6-3 by Manchester City on Sunday, while the Dutchman controversially opted to leave Ronaldo on the bench.

The striker has started only one game in the Premier League this season, despite finishing the previous campaign as United’s top scorer with 24 goals in all competitions.

Souness has criticised Ten Hag for not using Ronaldo at the weekend, insisting the star should be starting over United’s in-form attackers.

Speaking on talkSPORT, Souness said: “He’s the best player in the world with Lionel Messi – he still has something to offer.

“Ronaldo has an argument for saying, ‘I’ve been the best player ever’ – he can sit with any group of players in the history of the game if they were still alive and argue that.

“So, the disrespect Manchester United are showing him now, I don’t see the point in going through the aggravation which they have done in making him stay to not use him.

“It’s disrespectful not to use him. I don’t buy that [Ten Hag’s explanation], I think you’re showing more disrespect by not using him.”

The Red Devils boss offered an unusual reason for not bringing Ronaldo on at the Etihad Stadium, claiming it was ‘out of respect for his big career’.

Ten Hag has so far preferred the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho to the Portugal international, with the pair scoring a combined five goals this season.

Fans could potentially see Ronaldo make a return to the starting line-up later this week as United travel to Cyprus to face Omonia FC in the Europa League.

The 37-year-old has started both of their group stage clashes this season, scoring a penalty against Sheriff last month.