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Man Utd axe Cristiano Ronaldo from Chelsea squad as Erik ten Hag makes star train alone

Cristiano Ronaldo stormed down the Old Trafford tunnel before full-time during Manchester United’s excellent 2-0 win against Tottenham, having been an unused substitute under Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag has punished Cristiano Ronaldo by dropping him from Manchester United’s squad to face Chelsea on Saturday.

An official statement read: “Cristiano will not be part of the Manchester United squad for this Saturday’s game against Chelsea. The rest of the squad is fully focused on preparing for that fixture.”

The decision comes after the 37-year-old striker stormed down the tunnel before full-time during the Red Devils’ excellent 2-0 win at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. Ronaldo had been an unused substitute and watched the game up until the 89th minute from the sidelines.

United manager Ten Hag had invited the Portuguese megastar to enter the action late in the game, but Ronaldo reportedly refused to come on. As a consequence, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was made to train alone on Thursday and could face a fine worth around £1million for his behaviour.

After Ten Hag promised to “deal” with the situation on Thursday, Ronaldo will be made to train away from the rest of the first-team squad for the next three days – some of whom took thinly-veiled swipes at their teammate post-match. Lisandro Martinez admitted when asked about Ronaldo: “I didn’t see anything. I don’t know. I only enjoy with the people, we won, and that’s important.”

And midfielder Fred made his feelings clear when discussing the Red Devils’ impressive performance, saying: “It was a collective game which was very important for our team. We did a good pressing [game] and we built a result with all the hard work that we’ve done. It’s a collective result and a very important one.

“Our team worked hard for this. We are adapting with the new coach, the pre-season and now starting the season, game after game. So we talk in the changing room, we help each other. This win was very important to the team.”

Ronaldo’s didn’t even wait for his teammates to get back into the dressing room after full-time, swiftly leaving Old Trafford alone.

Pundits and fans alike debated the drama just minutes after it unfolded, with Gary Lineker saying on Match of the Day: “We all know what a great player he has been and stuff like that. But walking off the pitch as a substitute with two minutes to go before the game is finished – I’m sorry, I mean that’s unacceptable. That’s poor, isn’t it?”