Manchester United’s abysmal record without Cristiano Ronaldo could cost them top four

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Manchester United failed to secure victory in a must-win game against Leicester City on Saturday, after a poor performance that lacked firepower up front in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old was deemed unwell by the club doctor and was absent for the match having returned from international duty this week and it was his fellow countryman Bruno Fernandes who stepped up in the striker’s role against the Foxes but failed to light up Old Trafford.

The draw now means that United could slip even further behind Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for the top four, who will play their games on Sunday and Monday, but it was also called into question United’s record without their club legend.

Man United’s record with Ronaldo is abysmal

According to the Daily Star, Man United are yet to win a Premier League game in which Ronaldo has not started this season, and they have only managed one win without him across all competitions. The Portuguese star single-handedly dragged them through the Champions League group stages and has scored some big goals in games against United’s fellow top-four rivals – such as Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham.

Although the only Premier League game United have lost without Ronaldo was against Manchester City, they have drawn the other six when the 37-year-old hasn’t started. And it proves that without Ronaldo, they lack that killer instinct to go on and win games.

Ronaldo is United’s top scorer this season with 18 goals in all competitions and it is only Fernandes who comes close to his countryman with nine.

Ronaldo has been singled out this season as being a problem for United due to his pressing abilities and his lack of consistency, and although the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is indeed part of United’s problem, the conundrum for the Red Devils is that he is also a solution.

The problems at United are big and they do not all surround Ronaldo. What is evident right now, is that they lack goalscorers and the 37-year-old is clearly their only outlet, which will potentially cost them that valuable top-four spot.

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