Cristiano Ronaldo slammed for “coward’s tackle” on De Bruyne in Man Utd defeat

Manchester United were dominated by Manchester City at Old Trafford, with an Eric Bailly own goal and a Bernardo Silva strike earning the champions all three points

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reviews Manchester City defeat

Former Manchester City winger Trevor Sinclair has claimed Cristiano Ronaldo got away with a “coward’s challenge” on Kevin De Bruyne.

The 36-year-old cut a frustrated figure for much of the afternoon as Manchester United fell to a humbling 2-0 defeat to their local rivals.

It was Ronaldo’s first Manchester derby since returning to the Red Devils after 12 years away at the start of the season.

But he failed to have any influence on the game as Man City dictated, dominated and dismantled the hosts at Old Trafford.

With the minutes winding down and United unable to get any possession, the Portuguese forward was cautioned for a late tackle on City ace De Bruyne.

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Cristiano Ronaldo caught Kevin De Bruyne whilst he was on the floor

The Belgian midfielder had already been floored by Bruno Fernandes before Ronaldo went in with an even later tackle.

Michael Oliver decided it was a yellow-card offence, but Sinclair felt it could have warranted a straight red.

“That’s a cheap one,” former City winger Sinclair told talkSPORT. “The challenge initially went in from Fernandes, and as he’s down on the floor after being fouled, Ronaldo launches into that.

“I know it’s only one foot, but he’s jumped in with his studs showing. I thought it was a little bit naughty.

“It’s a little bit of frustration, but it’s not OK. I hope De Bruyne is OK because it’s a really poor challenge.

“It’s a coward’s challenge. He’s got away with a couple, the one with Curtis Jones as well.

“He’s got a temper because he’s a winner. He doesn’t like losing.”

Trevor Sinclair claims Ronaldo got away with one and could have been sent off

De Bruyne received treatment after the challenge but played out the 90 minutes as his side cruised to all three points.

Pep Guardiola neglected to make any changes throughout the game, claiming his side were too comfortable to change anything.

“This is the game we needed. They [United] are so dangerous. That is why we had a game with a lot of control,” he told Sky Sports.

“If you let them run at Old Trafford it is a little bit like Anfield. They are built for that.

Will Solskjaer last the season as Man Utd boss? Cast your vote below

“We played the game we needed today. You have to play quick, to move the ball and do the touches every player need but also try to put the ball in the pocket.

“The game was 2-0 and everything was comfortable. I felt I didn’t need to change.”

While the autopsy on Manchester United’s latest no-show goes on, City’s own title credentials were boosted with league leaders Chelsea dropping points.

Thomas Tuchel’s men had the opportunity to re-establish their five-point lead over the champions, but were held at home by Burnley.

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