Chelsea defender Thiago Silva has hit back at Paul Scholes after the former Manchester United midfielder suggested that the Brazilian would have struggled against Cristiano Ronaldo if the forward has started at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Heading into the clash in the capital, United had won just one of their last seven league matches, which caused Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to be relieved of his duties as manager earlier this month.
In his first Premier League game in charge, interim boss Michael Carrick made a big statement by dropping Ronaldo to the bench. Instead, he opted to play Bruno Fernandes as a 'false nine' with English duo Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford on the wings.
The controversial call was criticised by Scholes before the game, with the ex-England international telling Premier League Productions, as reported by The Mirror, that Ronaldo would have had an easy time up against Silva if he'd been selected to play.
Upon being informed of Scholes' comments afterwards, Silva was far from impressed, and took to Instagram to respond by writing: “It is always easy, especially for those who have stopped playing!!"
How did Sunday's game play out?
Carrick's bold decision was somewhat vindicated as United left west London with a point. Jadon Sancho's breakaway goal handed the visitors the lead, before a Jorginho penalty ensured the spoils were shared.
On a personal note, Silva hardly gave United's frontline a sniff, as Chelsea controlled long periods of the contest but failed to make the most of their chances.
Ronaldo was introduced shortly after the hour mark, yet was unable to make his mark on the game, and he cut a frustrated figure as he stormed down the tunnel as soon as the final whistle blew.
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How would Silva have coped if Ronaldo had started?
This was not the first time that Scholes has admitted to having doubts about Chelsea's defence. Last month, he claimed that the Blues have the weakest backline out of the Premier League's 'big four'.
Thomas Tuchel's men have only conceded five goals in the top-flight this season, though, fewer than any other team in the division.
Despite turning 37 in September, Silva has shown no signs of slowing down just yet, and last week he was at his brilliant best as he produced an acrobatic goal-line clearance against Juventus in the Champions League.
Of course, Ronaldo may have caused him some issues with his world-class ability, but to suggest that it would have been a comfortable afternoon for the Portuguese icon appears to be wide of the mark.
Right now, Chelsea are top of the league, and their defence deserves its fair share of credit for getting them there. If things continue as they are, Scholes may have to revise his opinion on Tuchel's backline over the coming months.
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