In his two matches as interim coach of Manchester United, Michael Carrick did not hesitate to make some surprising squad decisions. But no one was greater than his inclusion of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

Carrick went with three forwards from Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho against the Blues, and although the team did not create much in attack, he took the lead in the 50th minute after Sancho scored his first Premier League goal.

United still had a 1-0 lead when Carrick chose to bring in 36-year-old Ronaldo to score in the 63rd minute. The Portuguese star, who is one goal short of 800 goals in his career for club and country, had seven touches total in nearly half an hour. Rosy. Although he was a perfect five for five upon his death, According to the statistics of SofaScoreHe received more yellow cards (1) than shots (0) during his time.

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Here’s how Carrick explained the decision before the match:

“Yes, some tweaks and changes from the night before [Champions League]. Freshen things up a bit,” Carrick told Sky before the match. Of course, Cristiano is probably the standout name. But just a game plan ideas.

“It was a good conversation with Cristiano actually. He was great and we decided to go on like that today.

“It’s just a decision that you pick a team, to be honest. You don’t think it needs any more drama than that.”

Carrick took over from former United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after leaving him on November 21. subs. But it started with Ronaldo, who nearly spent the full 90 minutes as the Red Devils snatched a place in the playoffs.

The Chelsea match was the second time Ronaldo was off the bench In 15 matches in the English Premier League and the Champions League Since returning to Manchester United in an off-season transfer from Italian club Juventus. The last time it happened on 2 October in a home draw against Everton, it caused an uproar, and even legendary Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson Video captured Doubting Solskjaer’s decision at the time.

More: Ronaldo’s only ambition is to win the Ballon d’Or more than Messi

Ronaldo’s limited-minute move against Chelsea could be a way to keep the striker on for a busy period of matches in December, including seven league games and the Champions League group stage final. That kicks off Thursday with an important home game against Arsenal in the race for the top four, which includes next season’s Champions League football.

Whatever the rationale, the session still sparked a lot of discussion. Sky Sports analyst and former Man United player Gary Neville indicated that incoming interim coach Ralf Rangnick may have a say in the decision to ensure more effective pressure from Man United in a difficult match against Premier League leaders Chelsea. But after the match, Carrick insisted. Rangnick had nothing to do with squad selection against Chelsea.

Former Manchester United great Roy Keane did not understand why Ronaldo was not in the squad and insisted that the team’s striker should start the biggest matches, including against Chelsea. Fellow analyst and former player, Jamie Carragher, believes the move may have been A way for Carrick to separate himself from Solskjaer, who served as his assistant.

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It is not clear when Rangnick may take over as it has yet to be officially announced despite multiple reports claiming a deal is in place.

If Rangnick is officially revealed, there is a scenario in which Carrick could be on the sidelines against Arsenal on Thursday. It would be interesting to see who claims responsibility for the selection of the squad in this case.

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