Cristiano Ronaldo was the talking point yet again for Manchester United last night, scoring twice in a 3-2 victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford.
His former teammate, Patrice Evra, took this virtuoso display as an opportunity to leap to Ronaldo’s defence and fire shots the way of old Liverpool rival Jamie Carragher.
Ronaldo and Fernandes save Man United
In their thrilling encounter against Arsenal, it was United that came out on top. The victory saw the Red Devils close the gap on fourth-placed West Ham to three points. Arsenal had taken a controversial lead early in the first half. Emile Smith-Rowe’s strike found the back of the net with David De Gea injured.
However, it was a night for the dynamic duo of Ronaldo and fellow Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes to shine. Fernandes made it 1-1 just before half-time and Ronaldo did the rest. Scoring from close range and from the spot, the inevitable “Siuu!” rang around Old Trafford. Much to the joy of former teammate Patrice Evra.
Evra defends Ronaldo
Evra defended Ronaldo during his post-match analysis for Amazon Prime. The former United defender who played alongside Ronaldo thinks the attacker deserves more respect. Evra stated:
“There’s a lot of talk about this player and I don’t understand it. People like Jamie Carragher, who played 775 games. Cristiano today scored his 801st goal. These kinds of people talk about Ronaldo. I think they need to stay in their lane.”
“Some people just want to hate. They wake up and want to talk about Cristiano.”
Jamie Carragher’s comments
Following United’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher got into a heated debate about Ronaldo’s role at the club.
Carragher kicked things off: “I don’t think the idea that Ronaldo has to start and play every minute of every game is right.”
Keane: “Ronaldo is getting the blame for the high press.”
Carragher responded: “He doesn’t press. Does he?”
Perhaps too much is expected of Ronaldo. At 36-years-old, he hasn’t been brought to United to press the opposition. He is there to create and score goals.
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry have their say
If Ronaldo wanted any former players to defend him, Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry would be near the top of the list. Two of the best hitmen of their eras, Shearer and Henry scored a combined 856 goals for their respective clubs and countries.
As a result, that puts Ronaldo’s astonishing statistic into perspective.
When Ronaldo is only 55 goals away from Henry and Shearer’s combined total of goals one has to wonder what more he can do to gain respect from his critics.
Evra has never been afraid to say exactly what he is thinking. Whether that was as a player or now as a pundit. The one thing Evra guarantees is honesty.
In 2013, Evra was in hot water when he called four pundits “tramps.” This was after they had criticised an impromptu half-time team talk Evra delivered.
The former France international will always say things from his perspective and defend himself or others when he feels attacked. Evra will never change his outspoken tendencies. As a result, he will continue to grab headlines.
Featured image credit: Getty