'How on earth': Cristiano Ronaldo act sparks fierce red card debate

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured left) kicking towards Curtis Jones and (pictured right) looking frustrated.
Fans have argued over whether Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured right) should have been sent off for his kick towards Curtis Jones. (Images: NBC/Getty Images)

Manchester United fans looked on in horror during their historic dismantling against fierce rivals Liverpool, but things could have been far worse after an ugly Cristiano Ronaldo incident.

Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick as Liverpool humiliated United, romping to a stunning 5-0 Premier League victory to heap even more pressure on under-fire manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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United were 4-0 down at halftime, the biggest margin ever after 45 minutes faced by the Red Devils, due to shambolic defending that saw large sections of the home crowd exiting for the turnstiles.

The sense of chaos and calamity was amplified for United when substitute Paul Pogba was sent off on the hour mark.

Solskjaer admitted after the game that it was his "darkest day" as United manager and while insisting the side is "close" to where he wants it to be, evidence points to the contrary.

However, United could have been reduced to 10 men after an ugly Ronaldo incident before Pogba was given his marching orders.

Ronaldo made a foul while attempting to tackle youngster Curtis Jones.

He then lashed out Jones who was on the ground.

The forward kicked at the ball, before stepping over Jones, which resulted in a yellow.

But, the clearly aggressive kick could have been deemed violent conduct since the whistle had gone and Jones was on the floor.

Many fans claimed it was a red card, while others thought United had suffered enough.

Ronaldo did find some backing from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

"For me it looked like [a red], but I got told he hit the ball, or didn't hear the whistle," Klopp said after the game.

"I don't want Cristiano Ronaldo getting a red card."

Ole Solskjaer under fire after United nightmare

Solskjaer admitted after the game that it was his "darkest day" as United manager and while insisting the side is "close" to where he wants it to be, evidence points to the contrary.

"We know we are rock bottom, we can't feel any worse than this," said Solskjaer, who said though that he had no intention of falling on his sword.

"I have come too far, we have come too far as a group. We are too close to give up now."

As well as being United's worse loss against Liverpool at Old Trafford, it was the club's biggest defeat in the fixture since the 7-1 thrashing at Anfield in 1895.

The chastening defeat was also the first time since 1955 that United have lost by a margin of five or more goals at home without scoring a goal.

with AAP

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