Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has hit back at Rio Ferdinand‘s speculation that Cristiano Ronaldo was running the team from the bench, during their defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League.
Ronaldo opened scoring during the game, before United were reduced to 10 men because of Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card.
The 36-year-old was taken off during the second half, but retained a vocal presence on the touchline, to Ferdinand’s concern.
Ferdinand said on BT Sport: “If I’m the manager, I’ve got to be honest, I’m telling him to sit down.
“I get it. You know, with Cristiano people go, ‘Oh it’s bravado, it’s for the fans’. He’s just a passionate guy. He wants to win, he’s desperate to win, and he can’t hold it in.
“If that means he has to go up there and stand next to the manager, shouting instructions etc etc, so be it. When it’s someone of his standing and stature in the game how can you argue with it?”
Solskjaer, though, insisted that Ferdinand’s interpretation of events was misguided.
“Rio, again, sometimes he comments on things he doesn’t really know,” he said of his former team-mate at Old Trafford.
“It should have been a yellow card for Martins Pereira 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, Bruno sat down. We know only one man is allowed in that technical area and that’s either me or Carras [Michael Carrick], Mick [Phelan] or Kieran [McKenna].
“It was just spur of the moment, he 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 the players, no.”