Cristiano Ronaldo will score more goals on his return to Manchester United, says Erik ten Haag, who explained that Anthony’s early substitution in the 3-0 Europa League win over Sheriff was planned.
Ronaldo was sent off for Chelsea after refusing to come on as a substitute in the previous game against Tottenham, but capped off a routine 3-0 win that secured the Red Devils a place in Group E.
It marked the Portuguese superstar’s first goal of the season at Old Trafford and Ten Haag, who has seen Diego Dalot and Marcus Rashford score, is confident there is more to come.
“To see Ronaldo score his goal was great,” Ten Haag said. “He created, the team created for him and we know he has the ability to finish. He needed a goal and now I’m sure there will be more goals.
“[The team’s performance] was fine. Of course you hope to score in the first half hour, so it took a bit of time, but we deserved that goal.
“We scored two more good goals from open play in the second half and I’m pleased with the clean sheet because we didn’t give anything away. It was a focused win.”
The United manager also defended his decision to substitute Anthony at half-time. With the match still goalless, the Brazil international came under scrutiny for his display as he performed a double spin before sending his next pass from play.
When asked if the former Ajax winger had been replaced due to the incident, Ten Haag said: “No. It was more or less planned if we performed.
“I wanted to see Marcus and Christiana side by side, and the dynamic on the right side.”
United must beat Group E leaders Real Sociedad by two goals next week to progress to the last 16, while avoiding a potentially difficult knockout-round play-off meeting with a side relegated from the Champions League .
Rashford, who scored his 99th goal for the club, said the Red Devils were relishing the task at hand.
Commenting on Sheriff’s win, the England forward said: “Scoring the first goal quickly leads to a combination of frustration and relief. You have to be calm to create moments and be precise in using them.
“Scoring before half-time was a big help, it allowed us to look for more goals and space and we found them. It was about getting the job done.
“You have to go [to Real Sociedad] and score two goals. We have to score goals but defend well. It will be a tough game, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”