Comparing Man Utd’s record with and without Cristiano Ronaldo

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Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo looks frustrated during the FA Cup tie at Old Trafford. February 2022.

Cristiano Ronaldo completed his fairytale return to Manchester United last summer – but are they better off without him?

United finished second in the Premier League in 2020-21 and then bolstered their squad by signing Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho alongside Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old scored a brace on his second debut against Newcastle and United were tipped to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title.

But things have gone downhill since then and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in November following some embarrassing defeats and a dreadful run of form. Ronaldo has also come in for criticism due to his perceived lack of running and pressing.

He has scored just two goals under new manager Ralf Rangnick and has failed to find the back of the net in his last five games, his longest goal drought since 2010.

We’ve taken a look at United’s record with the striker in the starting XI and compared it to their record without him since the start of the 2021-22 season.

As the stats show, United actually have a higher win rate and average more points per game when Ronaldo is starting.

The Portugal international is also United’s top goalscorer this season and it’s not surprising that they average more goals per game when he’s playing.

But the Red Devils do improve defensively when Ronaldo is left out of the starting XI and they also lose fewer games on average.

With Cristiano Ronaldo starting

Games: 22
Wins: 12
Draws: 3
Defeats: 7

Points per game: 1.77
Win rate: 54.5%
Loss rate: 31.8%

Goals: 36
Goals per game: 1.63
Goals against: 32
Goals against per game: 1.45

Without Cristiano Ronaldo starting

Games: 10
Wins: 3
Draws: 6
Defeats: 1

Points per game: 1.5
Win rate: 30%
Loss rate: 10%

Goals: 14
Goals per game: 1.4
Goals against: 9
Goals against per game: 0.9


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