It’s all about Ronaldo as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace and Ronaldo even created a chance…
Do Ron, Ron, Ron
If in doubt, make it about Ronaldo.
Last Monday The Sun told us on their back page that ‘CRISTIANO RONALDO got a shock view of the future as the Manchester United superstar was axed for the draw at Chelsea’ despite the fact (forgotten or ignored) that Michael Carrick was simply repeating an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer trick from earlier in the season.
We said we would be ‘astonished if Ronaldo did not start against Arsenal at home on Thursday’ and of course he did, after The Sun dedicated their back page to the Portuguese man-child and his pressing game despite the three Premier League title chasers all winning on Wednesday night. Priorities and all that.
Friday of course brought more Ronaldo as The Sun – who had attempted to write him off just a few days before – riled against those who write him off. He had now scored over 800 goals so it’s only fair that he dominated the agenda.
And now we come to Monday, the day after Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 1-0 thanks to a goal from Fred. Sorry Fred, but this is absolutely not about you as The Sun’s back-page story begins: ‘RALF RANGNICK got off to a storming start at Manchester United and then hailed Cristiano Ronaldo…for his DEFENDING!’
His DEFENDING! Can you believe it? He didn’t, of course – he actually praised him for his work ‘off the ball’ – but The Sun are not in the business of subtleties.
Sorry Fred but you’re just not box office. Except to us.
What a difference a week makes
‘CRISTIANO RONALDO got a shock view of the future after the Manchester United superstar was axed for the draw at Chelsea’ – The Sun, November 29.
‘Man Utd verdict: Cristiano Ronaldo to play huge part for Ralf Rangnick after playing whole 90 minutes against Palace’ – The Sun, December 5.
It’s almost like it was absolute tosh in the first place.
Tears for fears
‘Ralf Rangnick comment on Cristiano Ronaldo eases Manchester United fans’ biggest fear’ – Manchester Evening News.
Now Mediawatch would think that Manchester United fans’ biggest fear is that this season ends in absolute f***ing disaster with no Champions League football and no trophy, but it seems that actually, Manchester United fans’ biggest fear is that Ronaldo will not play under Ralf Rangnick.
Hmmm. We suspect that they would mostly like to, you know, win some football matches.
Role with it
If the Manchester Evening News are to be believed, Ronaldo really is the story of that United win and after 90 minutes they are ready to declare a sea change.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo is entering the final stage of his Manchester United evolution under Ralf Rangnick’
It feels a tad early for such sweeping statements but carry on…
‘Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t get on the scoresheet, but his performance against Crystal Palace should still be seen as the evolution of Ronaldo’
Should it? Go on…
‘Cristiano Ronaldo may not have contributed in his usual fashion with a goal, but this game could be one that signals the start of something new for the great.’
That de-escalated from ‘should’ to ‘could’ pretty bloody quickly. As for ‘usual fashion’…he has scored in four of 12 Premier League appearances this season.
‘Ronaldo played as part of a two-person frontline with Marcus Rashford against Crystal Palace, which is rare for him. He played alongside Karim Benzema at Real Madrid, making the defence-splitting runs to work off the Frenchman.
‘It now seems Ronaldo has become the Benzema.’
Presumably not ‘the Benzema’ who has already scored 17 goals this season, mind.
‘The Portuguese forward took his most touches of the season with 55, per Sofascore. However, his passing numbers included more crosses attempted, more passes attempted and completed, and even a key pass.’
The ‘even a key pass’ has cracked us up. HE EVEN CREATED A CHANCE. He has managed that eight times before this season in the Premier League but that was before he had become ‘the Benzema’.
‘The more crosses attempted’ amounted to one (inaccurate) cross, while he actually attempted more passes on his Premier League season bow against Newcastle. And shall we just gloss over the fact that Sunday actually witnessed his worst pass completion rate of the season at a woeful 70.3%.
If this is the evolution of Ronaldo, we think we prefer the old one that scored goals.
There will be blood
The Sun website at least tries to find another angle that is not Ronaldo as they lead their whole football coverage with the following:
‘Man Utd captain Harry Maguire left with blood trickling down his bandaged head after horror collision vs Crystal Palace’
Bollocks. He had a gash on his head and then had it bandaged. At no point did ‘blood trickle down his bandaged head’. And can it really be a ‘horror collision’ if you get up and carry on?
As the Manchester Evening News noted:
‘A deep-looking gash could be seen sneaking out from under the bandage just above his right eye, with blood from the knock dried to his face. Maguire soldiered on to finish the match but it will certainly be sore in the morning.’
Definitely sounds like the biggest story in football.
‘Ralf Rangnick admits surprise at Man Utd players after “average” pre-match admission’ – Mirror website.
Number of times Rangnick is quoted in the piece as saying anything is ‘average’: Zero.
Still, you got your click. Well done.
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