Ten Hag explains why he took Ronaldo off for Rashford vs Newcastle United

Speaking about his decision to take off Cristiano Ronaldo and bring in Marcus Rashford in Man United’s 0-0 draw against Newcastle United, Erik ten Hag said: “We have to cover four games in ten days.

“I want to keep the strikers fresh. We have to rotate there. Rashy didn’t have energy for the whole game so we have to plan it.”

It seems like the Dutch gaffer might’ve had planned before the game itself to bring on Rashford for Ronaldo – irrespective of the scoreline.

Ronaldo was furious at the decision, but it was probably done for his own good being and to keep him fit for the matches ahead.

“The performance was good, a clean sheet, we pressed well, we controlled the game and in stages we were good on the ball – especially in the second half,” Erik ten Hag told BBC after Man United’s 0-0 draw against Newcastle United.

“Then, we dictated the game and in the end we could – we should – have score the winning goal. One from Fred, and then [Marcus] Rashford had to score.

“In the end we could have got the win, we deserved the win, and it is a big compliment to the team that we deserved this with a physical performance against one of the most physical teams in the league. They [Newcastle players] all had cramp and we kept going.

“The team understands from front to back we cooperate together. We are hard to beat and we must keep that going.”

Ten Hag seems to be annoyed with the result, just like most of the fans should be. United had a lot of chances to win, but were undone by poor refereeing and horrible finishing – incidentally the first draw the Red Devils have played under the Dutch gaffer!

Martinez 7.5, Fred – 3: rating Man United players in Newcastle United draw

Lisandro Martinez – 7.5

Even in a frustrating draw, Licha keeps himself looking strong. Used his aggression and game-reading ability to stop a lot of Newcastle attacks and kept Callum Wilson quiet. Won 2 aerial duels, made 2 interceptions and 7 ball possession recoveries – as well as passing the ball through the lines nicely.

Jadon Sancho – 7.5

Sancho created a lot of chaos on the left. Created a nice chance in the first five minutes and kept Trippier on his toes. Constantly kept making impressive inward moves into the box and was denied a penalty in the second half after being brought down. Unlucky not to have a goal contribution.

Raphael Varane – 7

Varane showed no fitness issues in his first game back from a slight injury. Used his experience to cut off Newcastle’s moves before they could threaten and made 4 clearances.

Luke Shaw – 7

The left-back continues his impressive recovery from the early season nightmare. He kept his wing on lockdown, not allowing Newcastle to create much at all. Made 2 clerances and 5 ball recoveries, as well as creating a chance and linking up well with Sancho.

Antony – 5

The Brazilian was probably the most-involved attacker on the day, but had underwhelming results. He tested the keeper a few times, but his shots were too weak to beat him. Most of his crosses were cleared away easily and he failed to really create any spark for United.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 4

Ronaldo started his first Premier League game since the Brentford drubbing and failed to impress. He got into some nice areas in the box and at the end of some chances, but his finishing and final product was weary. Denied a penalty and a freaky goal in the second half before going off looking all sulky.

Fred – 3

If any game was to prove why Fred hasn’t constantly started Premier League games for United, it’s this. Sure, he created some chances, but Fred’s overall work was really poor.

He gave away the ball cheaply, failed to maintain control and missed some scoring chances – including a horrible one in which he failed to score into an open net in the final minutes.

The others:

De Gea – 7, Dalot – 4, Bruno – 5

🤐85′-89′: The Red Devils fluff a golden opportunity! Bruno plays Rashford through with a nice pass and Marcus is able to round the rushing Pope. He passes it to Fred in the middle, but he fluffs his shot wide.

Miyagisans via Reddit: “ANYONE BUT FRED. Oh God anyone but Fred. Rashy I’d rather you shoot that please.”

72′-85′: United are struggling to get a winner here. Rashford hits a free-kick well over the bar. Newcastle hit an attempt over as well. All to play for in final few minutes.

MarkyP145 via Reddit: “What winds me up about how we are playing at the moment is that, unless we catch someone on the counter, we never play 1-2-3 quick passes through a team along the floor.

“It’s always resorting to in swinging crosses, or long shots and hope we win the second ball.

“Don’t get me wrong, a goal is a goal, but we are waiting for a bit of luck this way. The best teams don’t rely on luck to turn 50/50 games this much, they play through team.”

👀70′-72′: Ronaldo is the first player to be substituted to be taken off. Rashford replaces him. He is furious to be taken off and has to be calmed down.

Skinsaremlife via Reddit: “Ronaldo shaking head as if he didn’t deserve to be substituted and man has been scoring every game.”

59′-70′: The Red Devils have lost some tempo after those penalty call denies. Antony had another shot saved easily, Ten Hag probably needs to make subs now.

MarkGoldbridge via Twitter: “Watch that Sancho penalty back and tell me how VAR hasn’t overuled Pawson and given it….shocking. He gets cleaned out.”

😡55-59′: United seemingly denied another pen! Sancho makes a nice run in the box and is tripped down, but VAR doesn’t see enough to give a penalty. Unbelievable!

MarkGoldbridge via Twitter: “Pawson is a crap ref. Two penalty decisions and he turns both away. And VAR can do one as well.”

Ha23o via Reddit: “Ridiculous. What more could Sancho do? He got tripped plain and simple.”

🧐49′-55′: Ronaldo has a penalty shout waved away. Bruno slipped him into the box but he goes down after a tusssle with Trippier. Referee or VAR not interested.

Kgod_79 via Reddit: “How is that not a pen? The tackle wasn’t even close to the ball????”

🙄46′-49′: Ronaldo scores twice in the space of a few minutes. The first one is ruled out for offside and in the second, he steals the ball from Pope and scores. He feels it is a goal, but the referee books him for it. Bizarre.

SockselGato via Reddit: “The refereeing is just dismal.”

46′: The second half resumes! A big half for Man United.

✍️Half-Time Player Ratings

Good: Martinez – 7.5, Shaw – 7.5, Varane – 7, Sancho – 7, Casemiro – 7,

Average: De Gea – 6, Antony – 6, Bruno – 5.5

Poor: Fred – 3, Ronaldo – 4, Dalot – 4

🤐HALF-TIME SUMMARY: Man United started the game well, controlling a lot of possession and creating some nice chances. But Newcaste have been the better side since, as Joelinton came closest to scoring by hitting the crossbar twice in seconds in the 24th minute. Antony tested the goalkeeper in arguably United’s best chance of the half, but the Red Devils have been poor in the final third so far.

40-48′: The Red Devils get a few half chances in the final minutes of the half, with Bruno’s header going wide. A lot to do for Erik ten Hag’s men to get the win in the second half after an underwhelming first half display.

GFS_90 via Reddit: “I don’t even know whether I want to cry or laugh every time the ball ricocheting around the opponent’s and Fred’s foot.”

35′-40′: United finally create something nice on a counter-attack after Sancho is sent through the left by Bruno. He plays a cheeky pass to Antony, whose shot from a wide angle is saved.

Dracogladio17141 via Reddit: “Sancho with someone to combine with is super. Not sure why Antony and him are getting pelters.”

25′-35′: The Red Devils’ energy levels have fallen off after a nice start. Players are giving away the ball cheaply, failing to create much or troubling Nick Pope. Ten Hag calls them up for a little pep talk as Joelinton receives treatment.

AstroCoffee via Reddit: “Newcastle doing really well to prevent the game from developing any kind of flow. Bruno has been poor though, needs to do better especially with Eriksen out.”

😨15′-25′: Man United lucky not to be 0-1 down here. Newcastle get a free-kick that is initially cleared. A cross meets Joelinton’s header that hits the crossbar, but he hits another seconds later that also hits the bar and is out.

MarkGoldbridge via Twitter: “Newcastle all over us here…..why are these lot so inconsistent.”

Timely-ad-1588 via Reddit: “What the f*** am I looking at??? It’s f****** Newcastle!! We’re treating them like they’re Madrid.”

5′-15′: Newcastle have a penalty shout after Callum Wilson goes down in the box after a challenge from Varane. It’s not given. Soon after that, Sancho has a shot on goal that goes just over.

Jumpman_Jack via Reddit: “Basketball game so far.”

MarkGoldbridge via Twitter: “Never a pen for Newcastle that! Wilson goes down before Varane touches him.”

1′-5′: The Red Devils have started the game sharply. Sancho creates a nice move through the left and passes it inwards to Ronaldo, but the cleared attempt falls to Fred – whose shot goes much wide.

Working-acct via Reddit: “Can’t wait till we sign a proper CM to replace Fred.”

💪1′: KICKOFF! Man United get the game started and will be attacking towards the Stretford End in the first half.

😓Erik ten Hag has revealed that Christian Eriksen is ill, which is why he isn’t in the squad today. Marcus Rashford was also feeling under the weather, hence he is on the bench.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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