In a post-match message on social media, Cristiano Ronaldo praised his Manchester United teammates on their stunning 3-1 victory over Arsenal.
Manager Erik ten Hag, who has only given the 37-year-old superstar one start in six Premier League games this season, used him as a substitute once more.
It appears to be working, as those who have started in place of Ronaldo have helped the Red Devils win four consecutive games and climb to fifth in the table after a horrific start of back-to-back defeats.
He’s not happy about playing on the outskirts of the starting XI, but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is pleased with his team’s results. Ronaldo commented on Instagram following Sunday’s Old Trafford victory:
“Well done, lads! And a very special thank you to our supporters! Let’s go, Devils!”
Marcus Rashford’s double and Antony’s debut goal earned United all three points against Arsenal, who had won their previous five league games before travelling to Manchester.
Ronaldo replaced Antony in the 58th minute with the score still 1-0 to the Red Devils, but Bukayo Saka quickly equalised for the visitors.
Fortunately for Ten Hag and company, a resurgent Rashford scored twice in nine minutes shortly after to ensure that the home fans went home delighted, just as Ronaldo looked to be on social media.
Keeping his positive attitude for his adoring fans is nothing new for the Portuguese megastar, who has kept his social accounts upbeat throughout the summer despite his desire to quit United.
Ronaldo was keen for a move that would have allowed him to play in the Champions League this season, but the former Real Madrid and Juventus talisman will now have to settle for Europe’s second-tier league until 2023.
The Portugal captain, whose last start for the Red Devils came in a 4-0 thrashing at Brentford nearly a month ago, is set to play when United host Real Sociedad in their Europa League group-stage opening on Thursday.
Ten Hag continued to face media queries over his striker’s notable absence from the starting lineup.
Ahead of Arsenal’s victory, the ex-Ajax manager was asked how he intends to coach Ronaldo now that he has decided to stay.
“I will be his friend,” Ten Hag replied.
“Sometimes I will be his teacher — as we all know, he didn’t have the pre-season and you can not miss the pre-season. Especially the game we play, the way of play is not the type in comparison with last year. It depends, (and) demands, co-operation and demands certain positioning, in and out of possession. And the other thing is the fitness.”