Rio Ferdinand said he’d have told Cristiano Ronaldo to ‘sit down’ after he remonstrated with his Manchester United teammates on the touchline alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during the defeat to Young Boys.
Just as he did when Portugal defeated France in the final of Euro 2016, Ronaldo barked instructions to United players as the Red Devils were defeated in their Champions League opener.
Ronaldo started the clash and got the visitors off to the perfect start with his third goal on his return to the club, but Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card changed the game and Young Boys capitalised by striking – including an added time winner – to seal the victory late on.
“If I’m the manager, I’ve got to be honest, I’m telling him to sit down,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“I get it. You know, with Cristiano people go, ‘Oh it’s bravado, it’s for the fans’. He’s just a passionate guy. He wants to win, he’s desperate to win, and he can’t hold it in.
“If that means he has to go up there and stand next to the manager, shouting instructions etcetera, so be it. When it’s someone of his standing and stature in the game how can you argue with it?”
Ferdinand also defended Solskjaer’s tactics despite criticism of the Norwegian for inviting pressure onto his side.
He said: “In the 72nd minute, they’re talking about needing a goal. Ole’s not thinking like that.
“As a manager I understand what he is probably thinking at that time, 1-1, away in Europe, always difficult no matter where you go, in Europe it’s always difficult to go away, on an artificial pitch, we’re down to 10 men, we’ll take a point.
“And that’s what he was thinking. He wasn’t thinking about bringing players on or keeping players on to score goals, it was about seeing the game out. And listen, if he sees that game out, no-one is talking about substitutions.”
When challenged on the fact they ended up losing the game, Ferdinand argued: “It’s the fact it wasn’t based on the team shape or the team performance, it was based on a single person’s error of judgement. That’s the difference.
“If it was a tactical situation, where you go, ‘That’s the reason they’ve lost today, because tactically they got that wrong’. They didn’t play well today, when they had 11 men or 10 men, but I wouldn’t say the substitutions were the reasons they didn’t get a draw.”
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