The Dutchman was criticized from all sides for his decision not to play with Ronaldo, although he said it was “out of respect for his great career”.
SunSport columnist Piers Morgan said Ten Hag was an “arrogant, wishful thinking idiot” for not even taking him off the bench against City.
Roy Keane also added: “I think United showed nothing but disrespect for Ronaldo. They should have let him go when the opportunity arose. I had options, I know for sure.”
Meanwhile, Graeme Souness believes Ronaldo should have started the match ahead of Marcus Rashford and also have priority in the minutes ahead of double scorer Anthony Martial.
HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON FOOTBALL
However, Jamie Carragher supported Ten Hag’s decision.
He said: “The idea that Erik ten Hag was wrong yesterday not to play against Ronaldo is ridiculous!
“Ronaldo played for Brentford when he was 4-0 at half-time.
“It’s not a jab to Cristiano Ronaldo, but Rashford’s pace on the break we saw against Arsenal and Liverpool was the best option.”
Ten Hag was the first to criticize his team’s lackluster performance by questioning the confidence his players showed in the first half.
“When on the pitch you don’t think you can’t win games, it’s unacceptable,” he said.
SunSport exclusively revealed that new United player Antony did not follow Ten Hag’s defensive instructions.
He left Diogo Dalot, cautioned after two minutes, unprotected and the case was the same on the other side, just as Jadon Sancho left Tyrell Malacia to his fate.