Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains three reasons why he took Cristiano Ronaldo off amid backlash

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained his three reasons for taking off Cristiano Ronaldo in Manchester United’s 2-1 Champions League defeat by Young Boys.

Ronaldo opened the scoring for the Red Devils on Tuesday night but was hooked 20 minutes before the game with the sides level.

Solskjaer explained that Ronaldo was already tired going into the contest, given he lasted 90 minutes against Newcastle on the weekend, adding that the artificial grass of the Wankdorf Stadium is hard to play on.

The Norwegian also explained that he thought United would benefit from a burst of energy in the form of Jesse Lingard.

The game had gone 70-odd minutes, they [Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes] had been running a lot both Saturday and today,” explained Solskjaer, whose decision to hook the 36-year-old was criticized by fans on social media.

The Red Devils manager added: “The artificial grass takes its toll as well, and we wanted Nemanja [Matic’s] experience to keep hold of the ball and Jesse’s legs.”

United were expected to get their European campaign off to a winning start against the Swiss minnows but it was the home side that came out on top.

Ronaldo opened the scoring in the first half for the Red Devils but an Aaron Wan-Bissaka red card changed the dynamic of the game, and Young Boys took full advantage.

After levelling the scores 20 minutes before the end, Young Boys netted a winner with one of the final kicks of the match.

Jesse Lingard, who came on for Ronaldo, was at fault for the goal, which only compounded Solskjaer’s controversial decision to hook Ronaldo.

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