Cristiano Ronaldo has released a social media statement to address Manchester United’s heavy defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
The Red Devils crashed to a miserable 5-0 loss to their bitter rivals at Old Trafford on what was a sobering evening for the home side.
United were 2-0 down inside 13 minutes and 4-0 down by half-time with Naby Keita and Diogo Jota scoring and then Mohamed Salah netting a brace before the break to take his scoring run to 10 successive games across all competitions.
The Egyptian became the first away player since 2003 to score a hat-trick at United after notching his third goal just five minutes into the second half.
Ronaldo thought he’d scored a consolation for United but saw a goal chalked off for offside while half-time substitute Paul Pogba was shown a red card just 15 minutes after coming on following a VAR review over a reckless challenge on Naby Keita.
Defeat for United leaves them eight points off table-toppers Chelsea after just nine matches of the Premier League season, having lost three of their last four top-flight outings.
And Ronaldo, who rejoined United from Juventus in the summer, has spoken out to address the team’s struggles following their heavy defeat to Liverpool.
The Portuguese forward admits he and his team-mates must accept blame for United’s below-par form as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer comes under huge scrutiny.
Ronaldo wrote on Instagram: “Sometimes the result is not the one we fight for. Sometimes the score is not the one we want. And this is on us, only on us, because there’s no one else to blame.
“Our fans were, once again, amazing in their constant support. They deserve better than this, much better, and it’s up to us to deliver. The time is now!”
Ronaldo’s comments were similar to those made by his captain Harry Maguire and United’s left-back Luke Shaw as the club’s dressing room collectively admitted they were nowhere near up to standard.
Maguire told Sky Sports: “First and foremost, apologies to the fans, it was nowhere near good enough for this club. We’re all disappointed, we’ve spoken in the dressing room, I’m here because I’ve got to be here.
“The only thing really that I’ve got to say is we apologise to the fans, it’s nowhere near good enough.
“They stuck right with us, even coming off the pitch at 5-0 in the end they were singing and we appreciate that. For us, as a club, we’ve got to do better.
“We had chances ourselves but defensively, I’m a defender first and foremost and to concede four in a half, especially at Old Trafford, playing for this club is nowhere near good enough.
“I’ll be looking at myself, I’ll be looking at my individual performance as a team. I’m the captain of this club so I lead the boys, we’ve got to come together.”
Left-back Shaw meanwhile declared to Stadium Astro: “Not good enough, I know of course this game is a team sport, a team game, but I think as individuals we need to be accountable of some of the performances today and that’s why I’m here now.
“I’m not hiding in there, not speaking, I come out and say I wasn’t good enough. I speak on behalf of myself, not the team. I’m accountable for my performance and it wasn’t good enough.
“I’m not here to speak about the team, we know we can be better, but for me also I need to be better than I was today. I think it’s ourselves we need to look at first and foremost in the mirror.
“Of course have the tactics and how the manager wants us to play. But I think at times we’re way too easy to play through against.
“For example look at the first goal, it can’t be possible to have three [Liverpool players] running through in the first five minutes. We need to be more compact, we need to be better, we know that.
“I think also maybe we could say this result was coming. I think in past games where we’ve won we haven’t been at our best and we know that, we felt that inside the dressing room. Today we need to reflect and we have to move on from this because it hurts.”
United enjoy a week off and face Nuno Espirito Santo’s struggling Tottenham in north London next Saturday (5.30pm) as they look to get back to winning ways.