CRISTIANO RONALDO is being ‘abused’ by Manchester United, according to former Red Devils striker Michael Owen.
The Portuguese superstar was left on the bench for more than an hour in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea and Owen has not been impressed with how the 36-year-old has been used recently.
Cristiano Ronaldo was left on the bench for more than an hour of Man Utd’s draw at ChelseaCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
And former Red Devils striker Michael Owen has blasted the way he has been usedCredit: Reuters
United threw away a lead at Stamford Bridge after Jorginho’s penalty cancelled out Jadon Sancho’s first Reds goal.
It was a well-earned point given their recent form but temporary boss Michael Carrick’s decision to leave Ronnie out was criticised in some circles.
The former Real Madrid ace eventually came on to replace Sancho in the 65th minute but Owen was not impressed.
Concerned by the way United are utilising the goal machine, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid man was emphatic when asked if he would like to play up front in the current Red Devils team.
Speaking to Premier League Productions, the 41-year-old blasted: “No, you can’t.
“We were at Old Trafford for the City game and all of a sudden it’s just exactly the same and they leave Ronaldo up front on his own. That’s almost abuse!
“Having someone that good in your team and then playing everyone defensively and saying ‘That’s alright we’ll just hope he nicks a goal’… he’ll end up being average.
“If you leave him and all these good players – or just two of them – playing and everyone else defending, they’ll start putting in bad performances because they’ve got nobody to pass to.
“They’ve got no options, they’re chipping the ball form 50 yards away. They need other players to come up and help them.
“It’s almost abusing the good players they’ve got and that’s the last thing you’ve got to do. If anything, expose the rubbish.
“Find ways of getting world class players in your team, get [Paul] Pogba, get [Bruno] Fernandes, get Ronaldo, get them as best as you can.
“If you let a few goals in because [Eric] Bailly’s not great or [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka or whoever then fine, you can replace them.
“But at the minute – because they’re nervous and scared – they just bulk up with sitting midfielders and more defenders and abuse the great players up front leaving half of them on the bench and one or two to play.
“They’ve got no chance!”
Ronaldo cut a lonely figure in attack after he came on in West London as United’s midfield once again sat deep.
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And despite Carrick saying he was fine with being left on the bench pre-match, Ronaldo’s decision to storm straight down the tunnel after the final whistle seemed to suggest otherwise.
The ex-Juventus star has scored 10 in 15 games for United since his return.
And he has also come up with vital late goals to save the Reds in dramatic fashion – most notably against Villarreal and Atalanta in the Champions League.