All week leading up to Monday’s clash, the expectation surrounding Manchester United was that the club was in for a beatdown against Liverpool

The Red Devils got off to a putrid start to the 2022-23 Premier League season, losing consecutive games at the hands of Brighton and Brentford

Erik Ten Hag’s tenure at Manchester United could not have started off worse, but he made some big changes to the lineup ahead of their matchup with Liverpool

Among the notable changes Ten Hag deployed included the decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo in favor of Anthony Elanga

The legendary striker found himself watching from the sidelines throughout most of the 90 minutes on Monday, and it ended up paying dividends for Manchester United

Joining Ronaldo on the bench was United captain Harry Maguire, who was replaced by Raphael Varane. Not only did United come away with a win, but they looked the far superior side against Klopp’s Liverpool

Playing for Manchester United comes with a spotlight of its own, but lining up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo amplifies that 10-fold

Ronaldo’s teams are expected to be at the top of the table and in contention for Europe’s top trophies, not duking it out in the middle of the standings and playing in the Europa League

Despite the pair being teammates for their international setup in Portugal, Bruno Fernandes is quite clearly a more confident and overall better player when not teamed up with Ronaldo

Erik Ten Hag’s decision to bench Ronaldo was not purely based on United’s struggles