Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has not spoken with Cristiano Ronaldo about an incident where he appeared to smash an Everton supporter’s phone at Goodison Park.
Ronaldo was hobbling towards the tunnel after United’s 1-0 defeat last Saturday when an Everton fan tried to capture the bloodied gash on Ronaldo’s shin.
Footage shows Ronaldo angrily slapping the phone out of the fan’s hand and the Portuguese apologised for his behaviour, offering to invite the supporter to a United game.
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The fan’s mother, Sarah Kelly, told the Liverpool Echo: “I’d understand if Jake was waving it in his face but he wasn’t near his face, it was down by the floor checking his injury. He’s an autistic boy and he’s been assaulted by a football player, that’s how I see it as a mum.”
Ronaldo is fit to face Norwich in United’s Premier League home game on Saturday and Rangnick clarified the police and Football Association were still investigating the matter.
“I think he apologised on social media for what happened,” Rangnick said. “There’s still an investigation going from the police and FA. But apart from that I haven’t spoken about that with him.”
Rangnick claimed last week United struggled with the ‘level of expectation’ against Everton, the league’s 17th-placed side. Everton also held United to a draw at Old Trafford and United have dropped 12 points against the bottom four from seven matches as they prepare to face basement club Norwich.
Almost every United player has struggled this season with expectations raised and matchgoers present, and Rangnick conceded some had been found out.
“I don’t know if this is the case but it might be, at least with one or two or three of our players, it seems to be like that, that the level of expectation is high and some of the players seem to struggle with their own performance with that.” Rangnick said of the struggles with expectation levels.
“But, again there are no alibis and no excuses we have to be ready to cope and deal with it. For tomorrow, I’m sure and fully aware of that and I’m convinced and very positive that all the players know about this. This is a test of character and mentality tomorrow, we are playing against the bottom team.
“Yes, I know they won against Burnley last week and we know Everton lost against Burnley the week before. We also thought we should be in a better position psychologically to Everton but we have to show it on the pitch.
“Whatever speculation we have as to what I think or you think was the reason behind the performance at Everton, we have to be able to in our house beat a team like Norwich and show the best possible performance, this is what it’s all about. But the truth and reality is in on the pitch.”