Solskjaer tells Rio Ferdinand to pipe down over claims Ronaldo ‘undermined’ him

Date published: Sunday 19th September 2021 7:34 - Rob McCarthy

Cristiano Ronaldo chats with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Man Utd training (pic from MUFC)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at Rio Ferdinand after the Manchester United legend suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo had undermined the Red Devils boss.

After Ronaldo was taken off during United’s surprise Champions League defeat to Young Boys on Tuesday night, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was seen standing alongside Solskjaer on the touchline and seemingly shouting instructions towards the pitch.

Ferdinand felt Solskjaer should have told his new signing to ‘sit down’, telling BT Sport after the 2-1 loss: “If I’m the manager, I’ve got to be honest, I’m telling him to sit down.”

Responding to Ferdinand’s comments, Solskjaer said: “Rio, again you know, sometimes he comments on things he doesn’t really know.

“It should have been a yellow card for the boy when he brought down Nemanja (Matic). Both Bruno (Fernandes) and Cristiano, as competitive as they are, suddenly I had them on my shoulder.

“They were there for a brief spell and shouted to the referee. That was the aggravation of getting a few bad decisions against us.

“But then Cristiano sat down and Bruno sat down. We know that there is only one man allowed in that technical area and that’s either me or Michael Carrick or Mike Phelan or Kieran McKenna who is up there.

“That was just a spur-of-the-moment thing, over a player who should have been sent off.

“So I don’t have any problem with them showing some passion and then going back down. It’s not like he (Ronaldo) was coaching his players. No.”

Ronaldo will be hoping to score in his third successive game since returning to the club when United take on West Ham on Sunday.

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Varane praises positive energy of Man Utd star

Meanwhile, Raphael Varane insists the media portrayal of Paul Pogba is far removed from reality and has been quick to praise the “positive energy” his fellow World Cup winner brings to the Old Trafford club.

The France international joined forces with his compatriot in August. The serial winner signed for the Premier League giants in a £34million deal from Real Madrid.

Paul Pogba of Manchester United, ManU celebrate during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux

How long Varane and Pogba stay together at United remains to be seen. Indeed, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola set the cats among the pigeons again on Friday by stating “there’s still a chance” his client could return to Juventus.

For now the focus of everyone at United is on Sunday’s trip to West Ham. A win at the London Stadium will likely see them remain at the Premier League summit having collected 10 points from their opening four league fixtures.

“Paul spoke to me about the club, about the atmosphere, about the expectations,” Varane told Sky Sports.

“He is a great player but he also has very good, positive energy. He is a leader for the group. I’ve known him for a very long time so I’m happy to play with him.”

READ MORE: Chelsea ready to ‘accelerate’ as Liverpool, Man Utd also affected in transfer saga

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