Michael Owen slams Manchester United tactics for 'abuse' of Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester|November 30, 2021

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That's the verdict from pundit and ex-Old Trafford striker, Michael Owen who spent three years with the Premier League giants after the five-time Ballon d'Or winner left in 2009.

Ronaldo has scored 10 goals this season since returning to the club from Juventus, but was benched for the Sunday afternoon draw against Chelsea.

Jadon Sancho opened the scoring with his second goal for United and his second in as many games before the table-toppers his back at Stamford Bridge through a Jorginho penalty.

Ronaldo was summoned from the bench having been left out of the starting line-up, although when he did get on the pitch, he was given 'no chance' by United's defensive set-up, according to Owen.

The former England man took aim at two of Ronaldo's United teammates during his analysis of the game.

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Speaking on Premier League Productions, he said: "We were at Old Trafford for the City game the other day and all of a sudden it's just exactly the same [versus Chelsea], they leave Cristiano 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.

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"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 from 50 yards away."

Owen added: "If you let a few goals in because [Eric] Bailly's not great or [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka, or whoever it may be, then fine, you can replace them.

"But at the minute, because they're nervous and scared, they bulk-up with sitting midfielders and more defenders, they abuse the great players up front, leaving half of them on the bench and playing one or two.

"They've got no chance!"

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