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EPL: Paul Merson predicts Chelsea vs Man United, Tottenham, Man City, Liverpool, other games

Arsenal legend, Paul Merson, has predicted some of this weekend’s English Premier League, EPL, matches.

Chelsea will host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening, while Tottenham will face Burnley in an away Premier League tie.

Liverpool will host Southampton at Anfield on Saturday evening, while Manchester City will tackle West Ham United on Sunday.

Arsenal will clash with Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon at Emirates.

Providing his predictions, Merson told Sportskeeda, “I would expect Arsenal to get back on the horse against Newcastle.

“Arsenal were on a 10-game unbeaten streak before Liverpool ended their purple patch. Newcastle showed signs of improvement against Brentford but will find it difficult to keep Arsenal at bay. Arsenal 3, Newcastle United 0.”

Commenting on the Liverpool vs Southampton game, Merson said, “Liverpool have far too much quality for a Southampton side that failed to get the better of Norwich in their previous game. Klopp should be able to guide his team to another comprehensive victory this weekend. Liverpool 3, Southampton 0.”

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Speaking on the Manchester City vs West Ham match, Merson said, “Manchester City dominated the game against PSG this week and were ripping them to shreds for the most part. They didn’t score too many goals, however, and that is their Achilles’ heel. West Ham are going to set up on the counter with Fornals and Antonio, but I can’t see them beating Manchester City. Manchester City 2, West Ham United 0.”

On the Burnley vs Tottenham fixture, Merson said, “Antonio Conte has been a good acquisition for Tottenham – he gets them to play well. Harry Kane is yet to hit his peak this season, and he’s shooting at the goalkeeper and hitting the post more often than not at the moment.

Conte’s players do score goals, and he ensures that his forwards succeed. Harry Kane just needs a little bit of luck to come his way, and he’ll start scoring again. A trip to Burnley is difficult, however, and I see these two teams playing out a draw this weekend. Burnley 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.”

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Speaking on the Chelsea vs Man United tie, Merson said, “I can’t see anything but a Chelsea win here. They’ll squeeze and dominate the game, and they’ll probably have about 70 per cent of the ball. Manchester United will set up with Ronaldo up front, and he’s not running away from anybody.

“Manchester United are struggling at the moment. They’ve got no plan, and they don’t have a manager for the next six months. Their Champions League campaign is papering over the cracks, and whoever draws them in the next round will be more than happy. Chelsea 3, Manchester United 0.”



Nigerian Navy releases Instagram comedian, Cute Abiola

The Nigerian Navy has released online comedian, Abdulgafar Ahmad, aka Cute Abiola, from detention.

Naval spokesperson, Commodore Suleman Dahun on Friday confirmed his release.

Dahun confirmed that the comedian is no longer in naval detention and has been released to serve his punishment.

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DAILY POST recalls that Cute Abiola was detained for violating the military laws by posting a video of himself in military uniform on social media.

According to them, such an act is in violation of the armed forces’ social media policy.

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The Navy mentioned that Cute Abiola failed to show up when asked to explain himself but only returned after the expiration of his leave on November 15, 2021, and was put behind bars the same day.


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Group calls for restoration of telecommunication services in Katsina

The Coalition of Funtua Civil Society Organisations has appealed to Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State to emulate Zamfara and Kaduna states and restore telecommunication services in the state.

The Coalition, in a statement issued by its acting chairman, Alhaji Umar A. Imam and Secretary, Rabiu Umar Maska, noted that the shut down of the telecommunication services has negatively affected the economic and social wellbeing of the people, stressing that the government should see the need to restore the services for the benefit of the people.

The statement stated, “That the state government as a matter of urgency to immediately emulate a similar action of both neighbouring states of Kaduna and Zamfara, restore the network services to reduce the sufferings and devastation that the communities presently suffer.”

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The statement explained that if restriction of movement is anything helpful to the security operation, it should be adjusted to 10 pm when the majority of the people would have completed their social and economic activities of the day.

It noted that the maltreatment of the people for using motorcycles by some police personnel should henceforth be stopped, pointing out that despite the numerous military and other interventions, the bandits have continued to unleash mayhem on the innocent citizens unabated.

The coalition said that the suspension of telecom service in the front-line local governments was a good strategy aimed at curbing banditry, noting that the length of time taken made it lose its steam.

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It observed that the bandits had secured other means of communication thereby continuing with onslaughts on their communities.

According to the statement, the suspension of the network for a lengthy period has caused the collapse of businesses, loss of jobs, austerity, and increase in the abject poverty level with tendencies to increase the rate of insecurity, if not tamed.

DAILY POST recalls that the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, had at a news briefing recently pointed out that cases of banditry and kidnapping had dropped significantly since telecommunication services were suspended in the state.


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US foundation donates ambulance to Benue IDPs

A United States-based medical foundation with a branch in Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Adeel Foundation, also known as Shahnaz Shakeel Foundation, has donated a fully-equipped ambulance to the Benue State Government for use by Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.

A representative of the Foundation in Nigeria, Mr. Terver Atsewe, who presented the ambulance to Governor Samuel Ortom Thursday, 2nd December 2021 at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi, said it is to be used in conveying sick people from the IDP camps to the hospitals.

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Mr. Atsewe who stated that the ambulance was equipped with the latest medical facilities such as gas cylinders and other first-aid facilities assured that more of such vehicles would be given to the state.

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Receiving the ambulance, Governor Samuel Ortom expressed appreciation to the foundation for the donation and assured that the ambulance would be utilized judiciously for the benefit of the IDPs.

The Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Dr. Emmanuel Shior led the representative of the foundation to the Governor for the presentation.


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EPL: Why I didn’t reject Man Utd deal – Rangnick

Manchester United’s new interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, has admitted it was impossible for him to turn down the club’s offer.

Rangnick stated this during his first press conference on Friday.

The 63-year-old has been granted a UK work permit and will be in the dugout for the visit to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

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He said: “We are talking about six and a half months, one-third of the games, and we have agreed on a two-year advisory deal.

“If a club like Manchester United contacts you for such a role, you cannot possibly turn it down.”

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Rangnick had turned down a similar offer from Chelsea in January after Frank Lampard was sacked by the Stamford Bridge club.


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EPL: Fernandes gives condition for Carrick to become top coach

Manchester United midfielder, Bruno Fernandes, has insisted that he was really ‘mad’ at the club’s former caretaker manager, Michael Carrick, during the Red Devils’ Champions League 2-0 win over Villarreal last month.

Fernandes, who was benched by Carrick during the Villarreal clash, also gave a condition for the former England midfielder to become a top coach.

Carrick resigned after helping Man United beat Arsenal 3-2 in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

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The match marked the conclusion of Carrick’s spell as Man United caretaker manager following the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as the club’s new interim manager.

Carrick had impressed during his short spell at Man United and made a series of bold selection decisions.

He dropped Cristiano Ronaldo to the bench for last Sunday’s match at Chelsea and also took Fernandes out of his starting XI against Villarreal.

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“I was really mad at him [Michael Carrick] in Villarreal, but that’s the life of a coach,” Fernandes said at his post-match press conference after Man United defeated Arsenal.

“I see a great future for him as a coach. He knows how to speak to players. If he gets a chance, he can be a top coach.”


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Ini Edo welcomes first child, reveals why she opted for surrogacy

Nollywood actress, Ini Edo, has welcomed her first child through surrogacy.

The actress revealed she chose to have her first child through surrogacy to fulfill her dream of becoming a mother.

She said, “Yes I do have a daughter and I had her through surrogacy. The eggs are mine and so genetically, she’s my blood.

“I chose this path to fulfill my dream of becoming a mother. I still have a good number of eggs frozen in case I decide to do surrogacy again or carry my baby myself.”

Ini Edo, speaking with Stella Dimoko Korkus, further denied rumors that her child’s father was a married man, identified as Kome.

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“It’s so sad that in Nigeria when a ‘single’ woman is friends with a guy, it must mean to people that they are dating.

“Kome has been my friend for years and that is what it is, period. He is a responsible family man and doesn’t deserve to be dragged into my motherhood story,” she said.

The actress added that she opted for a donor because of her and her baby’s peace of mind.

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“I went for a donor for me and my baby’s peace of mind.

“Another major reason I opted for a donor is that it scares me so much when I see banter and controversies between a mother and a father over a baby in public forums,” she said.

“For me, it is the fear of what that would mean for the child.”

According to her, ideally, it is marriage before children but we are not living in an ideal world.


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Osun 2018 guber election was rigged, perpetrators compensated – Lasun Yusuff insists

A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuff has insisted that the 2018 Osun gubernatorial election was rigged and the agents used in carrying out the act had been duly compensated with plum positions in the current administration.

Speaking on a radio current affairs programme in Osogbo on Friday, Yusuff revealed that regarding the statement he made in Abuja during the purchase of his gubernatorial nomination forms at the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Secretariat, Abuja, he was not a violent man.

He explained that by insisting that “no man born of a woman can rig him out in the next election”, he meant that whoever was planning to rig the 2022 gubernatorial election and this repeat the rigging of the 2018 gubernatorial election would be judged by God.

He also explained that his statement was a note of warning to politicians not to be a nuisance and criminal adding that any act of rigging would come back to hunt that perpetrators.

The former Deputy Speaker, who maintained that the 2018 Osun gubernatorial election was rigged, noted that the processes leading to the rerun and the statement of President Muhammadu Buhari that it was remotely controlled were all pointers that the APC did not win the election fair and square.

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While asking any member who wanted to challenge him on his allegation to do so, he warned that doing so was going to end up destroying the party.

The Ilobu born politician stated that he has good relationships with both Rauf Aregbesola, a former governor of the state, and Adegboyega Oyetola, the incumbent.

In his words, “Rauf Aregbesola did well in claiming Osun for the progressives having led from the frontline. He is three things to me; he is my elder brother, friend and confidant.

“When I wanted to contest as Deputy Speaker, he called me and told me he may not support me on that but while I wanted to contest the 2018 Osun gubernatorial election, he did not say anything to me. At first, I held it against him but as for now, it is all in the past.

“When Governor Adegboyega Oyetola had a meeting with me, I told him to go round, meet the people and address aggrieved members of the party. I advised him to leave governance for a while so that he can bring the party together and I also asked him why he was disagreeing with Rauf Aregbesola.

“I told him that since both of them are from the same camp, he settle his differences with him. I don’t know if he took my counsel or not.”

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While explaining that he doesn’t believe in grouping within the party, the former number six man in the country disclosed that The Osun Progressives (TOP), a faction within the APC in Osun had members who were seasoned politicians and who also have the interest of the party at heart.

Meanwhile, the Osun State All Progressives Congress has described the statement credited to the former Deputy Speaker House of Representatives as spineless and lacking substance.

In a statement by the Osun APC spokesperson, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi, the party dismissed the statement in totality adding that such claims could only come from a very desperate, dishonourable, and selfish politician, seeking public attention by misleading the citizenry.

Oyatomi noted that Yusuf is seriously in need of medical examination as there is no iota of truth in his incoherent allegation, and the onus of proof is his responsibility.

The APC also challenged him to come straight with the facts and figures to contradict what is known to all Nigerians and the law of the land.


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Removal of fuel subsidy will worsen economic harship, harden criminals – University Don

Former head of Department of Economics, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Professor Yusufu Dalhatu on Friday, kicked against the Federal Government’s plan to remove fuel subsidy.

DAILY POST recalls that on November 23, 2021, the Nigerian Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed had during the launch of the World Bank Nigeria Development Update (NDU) said the federal government would remove fuel subsidy and replace it with a monthly 5,000 Naira transport grant to poor Nigerians.

According to her, the transport grant would target about 30 to 40 million Nigerians who make up the poorest population of the country.

However, Prof Dalhatu while speaking to DAILY POST in Kaduna on Friday, frowned at the decision to remove fuel subsidy, describing it as premature, and disastrous to Nigerians, especially in this critical period when every household was facing challenges of insecurity, hunger, lack, coupled with poor healthy environment.

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He said, “if fuel subsidy is removed, Nigerians can no longer breathe due to economic suffocation, as the cost of transportation will shoot up and become unbearable”, adding that majority of micro, small and medium enterprises which depend on fuel for their power generating sets due to epileptic power supply will fold up.

“The level of unemployment in the country due to job losses will increase exponentially. This is apart from increase in criminal activities, especially kidnapping for ransom and banditry.

“There is a nexus between economic hardship and criminal tendencies,” Dalhatu said.

According to him, since 1999, successful Governments refused to do the needful to turn the fortune of Nigerians, just as the four local petroleum refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna have been moribund for a long time despite the huge amount of money spent on turnaround maintenance.

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He noted that, the proposed N5000-a month transport grant for 40 million poorest Nigerians is not practicable and of no benefit to the economy.

According to him, “the money should be invested on new refineries. This will be beneficial to all Nigerians in the long run”, adding that the federal government should look for investors to revive the four refineries across Nigeria and make them functional.

“Removal of fuel subsidy can only be tenable when local production of refined petroleum products begins. When this happens, fuel subsidy will fizzle out and the current brouhaha, as well as hullabaloo on subsidy will die down,” he further explained.


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Weakness of government causing security conflicts – Goodluck Jonathan

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan has said that security conflicts are happening in the country due to weakness of the lower tiers of government

Jonathan, who spoke while delivering a graduation lecture at the National Institute for Security Studies in Abuja on Thursday, lamented that the local government system in the country was dead.

He, however, urged all the states to take deliberate steps to revive the local government system.

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“Most of these security conflicts are happening because of the weakness of the lower tiers of government. The local government system that is supposed to interphase with communities directly and prevent this is dead in this country.

“Since the local governments are mainly managed by the states now because we are told that some states even take their money. I think the states must have strong departments that will coordinate the affairs of local governments.

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“And these departments must have regular meetings with traditional rulers and community development committees,” he said.


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EPL: He left Man Utd before they kick him – Henry, Evra react to Carrick’s resignation

Former Premier League stars, Thierry Henry and Patrice Evra have reacted to Michael Carrick’s resignation as Manchester United first-team coach.

Carrick resigned after helping Man United beat Arsenal 3-2 in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

The game marked the conclusion of his spell as Man United caretaker manager following the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as the club’s interim manager.

But Henry was shocked by Carrick’s resignation, while Evra believes the former England midfielder left the club before he was forced out by Rangnick.

Henry told Prime Video: “I’m also shocked and surprised but you need to know when you bring in someone new, then he might bring people with him.

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“I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, but when you employ someone who might want to work with people he’s used to working with, so I can understand that side of the argument.”

On his part, Evra added: “I agree with Thierry [Henry] where he leaves the club before they kick me out.

“Because if they don’t even speak with the new manager, it’s a strong sign we don’t want you here anymore. I respect his decision, he gets to spend time with his family.”

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DAILY POST reports that Carrick had been with Man United since his arrival from Tottenham Hotspur as a player back in 2006.

He played 464 games, winning five Premier League titles, the Champions League, one FA Cup among other pieces of silverware with Man United.

Following his retirement in 2018, Carrick joined the first team coaching staff at Old Trafford originally under Jose Mourinho.

He was kept on when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed as interim, then permanent manager of Manchester United.


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Omicron: Osun govt cautions residence

The Osun State Government has warned residents to take personal responsibility for their safety as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus pandemic becomes a source of concern for health bodies globally.

This warning became necessary in the light of the of the revelation that Nigeria now has three reported cases of the Omicron variant of the deadly coronavirus.

Warning the residents not to let down their guards yet, the state government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode reiterated its readiness to compliment the efforts of the federal government to ensure the safety and well being of Nigerians.

Citing the World Health Organisation statistics, Egbemode disclosed that the new variant has a large number of mutations, and early evidences suggested an increased reinfection risk.

Egbemode explained that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, through genomic surveillance has identified and confirmed Nigeria’s first cases of the B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 lineage, now known as the Omicron variant.

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In her words, “Samples obtained for the stipulated day-two test for all travellers to Nigeria were positive for this variant in three persons with a history of travel to South Africa.

“By implication, a new brand of risk has been unleashed, demanding every citizen to review his commitment to the safety protocols against Covid-19.

“To give an idea of the severity, countries like Canada and even Indonesia are beginning to take stringent measures, which also include imposition of travel ban on a number of other countries including Nigeria.”

The Information Commissioner, who stated that the state government understood the implications of another lockdown now that the state has not recovered from the effects of the last action, stated that it is counting on residents to take personal responsibility for their safety in manners that afforded them the freedom to conduct their businesses within safe boundaries.

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Relating to individuals who have taken the full doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, she urged them to still protect themselves at all times by putting on a face mask in public places, avoiding crowded spaces and disinfecting hands and surfaces with alcohol-based sanitisers.

She added that being fully vaccinated with the two hands of the vaccine only reduces their susceptibility to COVID-19 but does not rule out their chances of contracting and infecting others who have not been vaccinated.

Egbemode maintained that since the government places high premium on the safety and security of citizens, it will continue to take critical steps that would protect citizens from actual or potential threats.


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EPL: Why I allowed Ronaldo take penalty against Arsenal – Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United midfielder, Bruno Fernandes has given reasons he allowed Cristiano Ronaldo take the team’s winning penalty against Arsenal on Thursday night.

According to Fernandes, it was the 36-year-old’s turn to take the spot kick.

Ronaldo scored twice in the 3-2 win over the Gunners, with the second coming from the penalty spot.

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Fernandes, who made it 1-1 on the night, reveals they did not discuss the change in penalty takers ahead of time.

The Portuguese midfielder says he was happy to leave the responsibility to Ronaldo, after missing his last effort in United’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on September 25.

“We didn’t have a chat. I missed the last one so I trust him in the same way I trust myself.

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“It was time for Cristiano to take the penalty because I took the last one and missed it. It doesn’t matter who gets on the penalty,” Fernandes told BBC Sport after the game.


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EPL: He’s a difference maker – Campbell hails Man Utd player after 3-2 win over Arsenal

Former England striker, Kevin Campbell, has said Cristiano Ronaldo is the difference maker in the Manchester United squad.

Ronaldo scored twice, as United came from behind to beat Arsenal 3-2 on Thursday night in the Premier League.

The 36-year-old now has 12 goals for the Red Devils since he returned in the summer.

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“Michael Carrick has done a really good job organising the team, getting a response from the team and getting two wins and a draw during what could have been a really difficult period for Man Utd.

“But the team has bounced back under him and they’ve got a win over a decent Arsenal side. Arsenal made a couple of mistakes and got punished and this is why you have Cristiano Ronaldo in your team.

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“He’s a difference maker and it proved to be the difference for Man Utd against Arsenal,” Campbell told Sky Sports News.

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EPL: Carrick reveals next plan after leaving Man Utd

Outgoing Manchester United interim manager, Michael Carrick, has said he will take some time off with his family, after stepping away from coaching.

Carrick announced his shock decision to leave Old Trafford, following his last game in the role against Arsenal.

The 40-year-old was unbeaten in three games, winning against Villarreal and Arsenal and holding Chelsea to a 1-1 draw.

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He told Amazon Prime: “It’s not been an easy decision to make to be honest but I feel it’s the right one and I feel quite happy.

“I’ve meant to take some time off after I finished playing and I promised the family that we would have some time together and it’s never happened.

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“It feels like the right time to step away. I’ll be back around the place. I’m not disappearing. But it’s just the right time and what a way to finish. It’s a perfect night really.”


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EPL: What Ronaldo did in dressing room after being dropped from Man Utd XI – Carrick

Outgoing Manchester United Caretaker coach, Michael Carrick has explained how Cristiano Ronaldo reacted after the Portuguese was dropped for their 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday.

Carrick surprisingly kept the 36-year-old goal machine on the bench for their trip to London.

Man United went ahead through Jadon Sancho but Jorginho equalised for the home side from the spot.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, was brought on in the 64th minute but had little impact on the game.

Carrick said Ronaldo’s reaction to being dropped was ‘perfection’.

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“[Dropping Ronaldo] seems like it was a big decision but really, between us and [for] me personally, it wasn’t. You can ask Cristiano. The way he responded was perfection really.

“Around the dressing room he was incredible, he supported the players. I went in to do my half-time team talk and he was warming up 10 minutes in advance ready to come on in the second half.

“I think a lot can be made of it and spinning it in a negative way but behind the scenes the reality is very different,” he told Amazon Prime.

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Manchester United went on to defeat Arsenal 3-2 on Thursday with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a brace and taking his competitive career goals to 801.

Meanwhile, Manchester United announced on Thursday that Michael Carrick has left his position as the club first team coach after serving as the Caretaker manager for three successful matches.


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