Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates after the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on February 15, 2022 in Manchester, England. James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images


  • Cristiano Ronaldo did not see action during Manchester United's loss to Manchester City
  • Erik ten Hag opted to play younger players instead
  • Manchester City is simply too dominant of a team

The great rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City came to a head once again this past weekend, but Cristiano Ronaldo did not get the chance to take to the field at all.

The all-time football great was forced to stay on the bench and watch his side fall in the famed Manchester Derby, 6-3.

With Manchester United going down 4-0 at one point, fans tuning in to the game via social media were clamoring for Ronaldo to be given a chance to play, but Erick ten Hag refused.

"I wouldn't bring him in because out of respect for Cristiano [Ronaldo], for his big career. The other thing was the advantage I could bring [Anthony] Martial, he needs the minutes but I don't want to point it out like that," ten Hag was quoted to have said following the loss.

Ten Hag opted to bring on Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Casemiro, Fred and Anthony Martial with his five allowed substitutes in hopes of salvaging a draw at the very least.

Manchester City was on a mission in front of their home crowd at Etihad Stadium as Phil Foden and Erling Haaland flexed their scoring acumen by scoring two braces each before the end of the first half then completing their hat tricks later on in the match.

For ten Hag's side, summer acquisition Antony came alive at the 56th minute to give Manchester City their first goal of the match while Martial ended the game with two goals to his name which ended his scoring drought.

Going into the Manchester Derby, fans could not be faulted for thinking that Manchester City would go home with the win since Haaland has proven to be the terminator himself come to life after scoring hat tricks in each of their past three matches.

Expecting the resurgent Red Devils to come away with a victory against a Manchester City team that is coming off back-to-back English Premier League titles is an extremely tall order.

Manchester United does have the makings of being a competitive team and could very well be in position for a top-four finish, but the Citizens are just in a league of their own and adding Haaland this summer puts them well above the rest of the Premier League.

Ten Hag bringing on Ronaldo would have made sense had the goal difference been a bit more favorable towards them, yet trusting in his younger wards was arguably the right call this time around.

Manchester United will have about three months to prepare for the next Manchester Derby as they welcome the Citizens to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are back in action on Friday, October 7 against Cyprus-based squad Omonia Nicosia for the second leg of their UEFA Europa League tussle.

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on August 07, 2022 in Manchester, England. Getty Images/Michael Regan