Christian Eriksen admits Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘sad’ as Man Utd thrive without him

Manchester United have made it two wins in a row on their return to competition after Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract was terminated on disciplinary grounds

Christian Eriksen believes Manchester United have moved on from the Cristiano Ronaldo scandal.

United were forced into action ahead of the World Cup when Ronaldo gave an unauthorized interview to Piers Morgan in which he openly criticized manager Erik ten Hag and said he felt “betrayed” by club bosses. After weighing up their options, United decided to terminate Ronaldo’s contract by mutual consent, thus depleting the Ten Hag’s squad.

Ronaldo’s exit doesn’t appear to have cast a shadow, with United making it two wins on their return from the World Cup break, beating Burnley 2-0 in the Carabao Cup and Nottingham Forest 3-0 in the Premier League. Speaking after the comfortable win over Forest, Eriksen paid tribute to Ronaldo’s legacy at the club but insisted it was now time to move on.

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“First of all we are sad that Ronaldo is not part of it,” he said. “His legacy and his name at any club is special and for me it was really nice to be lucky enough to play with him in my career.

“But football goes on. You feel the next game after, people will forget what it was like – and now we’re really focused as if he’s not here.”

United didn’t miss Ronaldo on Tuesday night, with goals from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Fred seeing them past Forest to make it four straight wins in all competitions. Eriksen started the match and provided the assist for Rashford’s opener from a well-worked corner routine. He gave an insight into the feeling inside the locker room after the win.

“It was the first Premier League game after the World Cup so obviously it’s important to get back on track and now of course with a 3-0 win at home it’s a good feeling and a good start,” Eriksen said.

“We have a lot of people coming back from the World Cup, the last guys are coming back and everyone is coming together.

“The atmosphere is good. It helps to win games and also before we go to the World Cup we had some good games and wins and it makes it easier for us to come back and start like that. We are in a good place. The start of the season it’s very different from now.

“Football is different now to when I started, it was a bit hit and miiiiiiiiiiiiiss in some games but I think after that we picked up and have built since.

“You feel as a group you feel the system is working, which you have to believe and I think we’re doing that now.”

Despite their strong run, United remain fifth in the Premier League table, one point outside the top four with a game in hand. They travel to play Wolves on New Year’s Eve before hosting Bournemouth on January 3.

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