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5 Feb, 2022 09:50

Ronaldo hailed for gesture after penalty miss (VIDEO)

Cristiano Ronaldo was praised for his actions after Manchester United teammate Anthony Elanga missed a costly penalty
Ronaldo hailed for gesture after penalty miss (VIDEO)

Cristiano Ronaldo has won plaudits for his response to Manchester United’s shock FA Cup shootout defeat to Middlesbrough, as the Portuguese star consoled young teammate Anthony Elanga after his penalty miss.

The FA Cup was seen by many as United’s main chance of silverware this season but Ralf Rangnick’s men were dumped out of the competition on spot kicks in the fourth round against their visitors from the Championship.

The scores finished 1-1 following extra time at Old Trafford after United had taken the lead through Jadon Sancho on 25 minutes, only for Middlesbrough’s Matt Crooks to score a controversial second-half equalizer in which teammate Duncan Watmore clearly handled the ball during the build-up.

Ronaldo has missed a penalty after 20 minutes of the match, sending his effort wide of the left upright.

The Portuguese star compensated somewhat by scoring his spot kick in the shootout, but the 19-year-old Elanga missed in sudden death as Borough netted all eight of their penalties.

Winger Elanga cut a disconsolate figure after United exited the competition, but Ronaldo was seen putting his arm around the young Swede as the players trudged off the Old Trafford turf.

The gesture by Ronaldo, who turns 37 on Saturday, was widely praised online as many picked up on the fact that the Portuguese icon was pointing to his chest, seemingly indicating that he was partly to blame for the defeat after missing his first-half penalty.

The show of support also comes in stark contrast to the criticism that the returning star has faced in recent weeks as United’s form has slumped.

The likes of TV pundit and former teammate Gary Neville have accused the five-time Ballon d’Or winner of throwing childish tantrums on the pitch when things haven’t got his way and of setting a bad example to United’s younger players.

But Friday’s events seem to indicate a change in tone from Ronaldo.  

United are left with a Champions League campaign which continues with a last-16 meeting with Atletico Madrid later in February and a Premier League battle where they are scrapping for a top-four finish.

But the wait for silverware at the Old Trafford giants is likely to continue for another season at least, with their last titles coming under Jose Mourinho in 2017, when the club won the UEFA Europa League and the domestic League Cup.