‘It is UNACCEPTABLE’: Gary Lineker and Micah Richards slam Cristiano Ronaldo after the Man United star stormed out of Old Trafford BEFORE full-time in his side’s 2-0 win over Spurs after being left on the bench by Erik ten Hag
- Ronaldo has sparked an angry response with his behaviour in the win over Spurs
- United boss Erik ten Hag has vowed to deal with the 37-year-old star
- Ronaldo wanted to leave the club in the summer but did not secure a move away
- He has cut a frustrated figure on several occasions under Ten Hag this season
Gary Lineker and Micah Richards have slammed Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal star stormed away from Manchester United’s victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford before full-time.
Ronaldo responded to being left on the bench as an unused substitute by disappearing down the tunnel in the 89th minute, and Sportsmail understands he may even have departed the stadium before the match finished.
United boss Erik ten Hag is expected to take action over the 37-year-old’s latest strop.
And Ronaldo was strongly criticised by Lineker and Richards on Match of the Day following the incident.
Cristiano Ronaldo stormed down the tunnel after being an unused substitute vs Tottenham
He was dropped from the United starting XI for the 2-0 win over Tottenham at Old Trafford
‘We all know what a great player he has been but walking off the pitch as a substitute two minutes before the game has finished…I’m sorry, that is unacceptable. That is poor,’ Lineker said.
Richards agreed. ‘It is so poor,’ he said. ‘For someone we have looked up to for so long, one of the greats of the game.
‘To do that when your team are winning, making it all about him. It is unacceptable.’
Speaking in his post-match press conference following the 2-0 win over Spurs, Ten Hag said: ‘I have seen him, but I didn’t speak to him. I will deal with that tomorrow, not today. We are celebrating this victory.
Ronaldo has regularly made his frustrations at a lack of minutes at the club clear
‘I don’t pay attention today. I will deal with it tomorrow. I want to keep the focus on the team and a magnificent performance from all 11 players and the subs who came on. It was a squad performance.’
It is the second time Ronaldo has left a United game without permission under Ten Hag. In July, the 37-year-old exited Old Trafford at half-time after being substituted in a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano.
Ten Hag described the incident as ‘unacceptable’ but pointed out that Ronaldo wasn’t the only United player who went early.
The 37-year-old was also clearly frustrated when he was substituted early against Newcastle
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s behaviour has been a problem for both Ten Hag and his predecessor Ralf Rangnick.
On Sunday, Ronaldo attracted more negative publicity as he was seen shaking his head and muttering when he was substituted with 20 minutes to go in United’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle.
In the build-up to this game, Ten Hag said he had no problem with Ronaldo’s reaction as long as it was ‘in a quiet normal way’.
But the Dutchman will be furious that Ronaldo’s latest sulk has overshadowed United’s best performance under him, with goals from Fred and Bruno Fernandes giving United a richly deserved win over Antonio Conte’s side.
United boss Erik ten Hag has vowed to ‘deal with the issue’ on Thursday after Ronaldo’s actions
Ronaldo has cut a frustrated figure on several occasions this season after telling the club he wanted to leave in the summer.
The Portuguese forward had hoped to secure a move to a team playing in the Champions League.
Alan Shearer, who was on commentary for Amazon Prime Video during the match, said: ‘I understand his frustration but if you look at the bigger picture his team has put in a really good performance.
‘The manager had a big decision and it’s been proven right. You’re talking about maybe the best player we’ve ever seen, but it makes things difficult for the manager.
‘He’ll be asked about that but he should be talking about the players on the pitch tonight.’