Cristiano Ronaldo was left to feed off scraps during Manchester United’s draw with Newcastle United on Monday.
Ralf Rangnick was left frustrated from the sidelines as Newcastle played much the better football with Allan Saint-Maximin scoring a fine individual effort in the opening 45 minutes.
Newcastle 1-1 Man Utd
And although Edinson Cavani ultimately saved face with an equaliser after the break, Ronaldo and co will go home tonight knowing that they were the second-best team at St. James’ Park.
In fact, Ronaldo’s behaviour at full-time seemed to suggest that he was very much aware of that fact with Gary Neville claiming that the 36-year-old ran off once the 1-1 draw was confirmed.
The Sky Sports pundit and United legend claims that Ronaldo was quick to leave the pitch in a frustrated manner that the Old Trafford faithful have become used to seeing this season.
And Neville didn’t shy away from calling out Ronaldo, as well his compatriot Bruno Fernandes, for behaviour that he considered to be ill-fitting with the expectations put upon a United player.
Neville calls out Ronaldo
According to the Manchester Evening News, Neville said: “We talk about body language. We talked about it early in the season when Ronaldo ran off at the end of the Everton game.
“He’s run off again tonight. He ran off at Watford when everyone knew the manager was going to get the sack. And at Norwich.
“There’s Fernandes whinging, too. They’re the two senior players. It’s devastating for younger players when the two best players are looking at every other player like they’re not good enough.
“Cavani takes that away. I don’t think Cavani wilts in the presence of Ronaldo or Fernandes, I think he stands up to them and helps other young players on the pitch. He needs to be on the pitch.
“I don’t care how you’ve played, You need to go over and clap those fans at the end of the game. Get over to them, particularly when you’re the best player in the world and one of the greatest all-time.”
The standards at United
It will be interesting to see whether or not footage emerges of Ronaldo’s behaviour at full-time because you can certainly understand Neville’s frustration with what he saw in the north-east.
If Ronaldo did indeed swiftly vacate the pitch without sufficiently acknowledging the fans, then you have to sympathise with Neville in that it does send a lot of negative messages to the other players.
No matter how hacked off you might be with a result, sometimes the best thing you can do is stomach it and show a cool head and class in spite of it all. It is the United way, after all.