Cristiano Ronaldo returned to play for Manchester United in the Arsenal fixture, after missing the game against Liverpool, at Anfield due to the death of his baby boy. The Portuguese talisman made his mark with the only United goal of the match, and almost netted a second as well, but a closer VAR inspection ruled it an offside.
Ronaldo received a ball from Nemanja Matic and finished it with his left foot. This gave United a fighting chance and marked the striker’s 100th Premier League goal for the Red Devils.
The 37-year-old also nearly got in another but the referee ruled it an offside. A VAR call agreed, but Ronaldo’s expressions seemed to suggest dissatisfaction. However, he remained among the more impactful players during the game.
However, in the second half, when United won a penalty, Ronaldo didn’t step up to the ball. He headed it off to compatriot Bruno Fernandes, who went on to miss.
United coach Ralf Rangnick clarified Ronaldo’s decision to not take the penalty, saying, “I spoke with him after the game and asked him”, adding, “and he said he just didn’t feel he should take it and that’s why he said it would be better if Bruno took it”, as per Manchester Evening News.
The United forward lost his boy while partner Georgina Rodriguez was pregnant with the twins. At the time, the two had said, “It is with the deepest sadness that we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away. It’s the greatest pain any parents can feel”.
Ronaldo’s personal situation has seeped onto the field, as evidenced by Liverpool’s touching show of support in the seventh minute, which the Merseyside team’s manager, Jurgen Klopp, hailed as the best moment of the fixture which saw United take a 4-0 loss at Anfield.