Manchester United’s chances of finishing in the top-four in the Premier League are now surely over.
United travelled to relegation-threatened Everton on Saturday lunchtime but succumbed to a 1-0 defeat.
A first-half deflected strike from Anthony Gordon was the only goal of the game as the visitors failed to really trouble Jordan Pickford.
That’s despite a returning Cristiano Ronaldo playing the entire match.
The Portuguese superstar cut a frustrated figure throughout but almost equalised at the death but saw his effort saved by Pickford.
At the final whistle, Ronaldo couldn’t leave the pitch quick enough.
However, he was slowed down by a slight limp caused by some nasty stud marks on his shin following a tackle.
Ronaldo removed his shin pad and pulled down his sock to reveal a bloody shin.
Cristiano Ronaldo's leg at full-time 🤕 pic.twitter.com/zrN9QXBSEg— GOAL (@goal) April 9, 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo with a few stud holes in his leg. 🕳 pic.twitter.com/aGjK2UPzvx— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) April 9, 2022
Of course, it’s not unusual for a footballer to collect a few stud marks after a tough 90 minutes.
But those injuries must have been particularly sore for the 37-year-old after yet another loss for the Red Devils.
Ralf Rangnick’s side remain seventh and are three points adrift of Tottenham who occupy fourth having played a game more. They’re also three adrift of Arsenal, who have two games in hand.
With trips to Liverpool, Arsenal and a home clash against Chelsea to come, it’s now looking highly unlikely Man Utd will be playing Champions League football next season.
Ronaldo in the Europa League – or even the Europa Conference League next season? It certainly looks that way.