Another day, another poor Manchester United performance.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were fairly abject against Everton this afternoon, and could well have lost the game late on after the visitors had a goal ruled out for offside.
It was the same old story for United. They lacked any sort of patterns in attack, while their midfield was porous throughout the 90 minutes. It was another example of why they look unlikely to challenge for the Premier League this season as things stand.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer probably didn't help himself with his team selection. The Norwegian made five changes to the team that beat Villarreal in midweek, with Cristiano Ronaldo starting from the bench.
While the 36-year old would come on just before the hour mark when the team were leading 1-0, many will now question the decision to not start the forward.
Ronaldo himself didn't look too pleased after the final whistle, storming down the Old Trafford tunnel.
😳 The frustration on the face of Cristiano Ronaldo. Not happy.
Straight down the tunnel at full-time. pic.twitter.com/LtZqxKopQZ
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 2, 2021
Speaking on BT Sport after the game, both Rio Ferdinand and Jermaine Jenas questioned the wisdom behind taking Ronaldo out of the side in the midst of a strong scoring run:
Ferdinand: It's a big call to make five changes. He had lost three out of four games (before midweek), so it wasn't like they were coming into this one in a rich vein of form.
In today's game you see people shuffling the pack, but five (changes) in one game is a big call to make. I think you see the reaction of players walking off disappointed and frustrated with the result, it is big points dropped.
On the other hand, they are bringing in Cavani, bringing in Martial, people that score goals and big names. They should be able to get it done...
Jenas: If you are in that Everton dressing room and you don't see Cristiano Ronaldo's name on that starting team, you're like yes. No Pogba as well.
Ferdinand: The thing is Ronaldo had scored five in five. He is in a rich vein of form.
Would you see other people take out their top goalscorer who is in a rich vein of form? Is Harry Kane not playing for Spurs, Aguero when he was at City?
He's 36 so you've got to manage his load, but if they had a game on Tuesday and another game next week I would understand and be convinced it was the right decision.
The question mark is that Cristiano is going on international duty against Qatar and Luxembourg, games he could pick and choose to play in and rest up...
Jenas: This did not feel like a game to rest your star man. It was a game to get in and get the job done, get to the international break on top of the league, and then manage him in another area...
Ferdinand: This isn't new. This is the reason they didn't challenge last season, not winning enough games at home. Away from home their record is phenomenal, but here at Old Trafford they continually dropped points.
Today is another result that is very similar to last season. You need to see a shift from last season and dropping points at Old Trafford. This place should be a fortress where teams like Everton should be put to the sword.
You get the sense that this could be the last time for quite a while that Cristiano Ronaldo does not start a league game for Manchester United.