Cristiano Ronaldo was given the Manchester United captain’s armband on Monday night, but the Portuguese striker could only lead his side to a 1-0 defeat against Wolves

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Manchester United v Wolves: Match in pictures

Cristiano Ronaldo’s rare game as Manchester United captain did not go to plan as Wolves took away a famous 1-0 win from Old Trafford on Monday night.

Ronaldo was handed the captain’s armband by interim manager Ralf Rangnick with Harry Maguire missing the game due to injury.

It was just the second time in Ronaldo’s two spells at United that he had led the team on the pitch.

Ronaldo could not inspire his team to victory as Joao Moutinho’s 82nd-minute strike earned Wolves their first win at Old Trafford for 42 years and gave Rangnick his first defeat since he took charge on November 29.

United were lacklustre throughout and came closest to scoring when Bruno Fernandes struck the bar from a cut-back in the second half.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s captaincy did not help United against Wolves


Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Rangnick’s decision to pick Ronaldo as captain ahead of goalkeeper David de Gea raised eyebrows before kick-off, with the German manager forced to explain himself.

“Well [Ronaldo] is the most experienced player,” he said pre-match.

“The question was is it David or him, these are the players who have been playing for the longest period of time.

“And I wanted an outfield player as captain which is why I chose Cristiano.”

Speaking on Sky Sports, former United midfielder Paul Ince, who captained England, was unsure about the selection.

“Maguire is the captain, but sometimes when your performances aren’t great, as Maguire’s haven’t been great, sometimes that armband can weigh a bit more on you,” he said.

“But Cristiano has got it, he could’ve given it to David de Gea. He could’ve given it to [Edinson] Cavani, but I think it’s the right choice.”

HAVE YOUR SAY! Was Ralf Rangnick right to pick Cristiano Ronaldo as captain? Comment below.

Paul Ince was not convinced by Ralf Rangnick’s captaincy decision


Sky Sports)

Reflecting on his words, Ince later changed his mind to advocate for midfielder Scott McTominay, who scored and assisted in the 3-1 win over Burnley last week.

“Looking at it really, if I was Ralf Rangnick, I would give it to Scott McTominay because I think a captain should be based on his performances and what he’s done on the pitch,” he added.

“He’s 25-years-old, it would be a nice learning curve for him.

“Why give it to Ronaldo? Everyone is moaning about him walking off the pitch every time they get beat, or not clapping the fans, it’s also about setting an example.

“I think the way that McTominay is playing, give it to him and let him have a go.”

Ronaldo had a quiet game, with United struggling to break down a resolute Wolves defence.

The hosts managed just two shots on target altogether, with one of those coming in the 95th minute of added time when Jose Sa pushed away Fernandes’ free-kick.

United are seventh in the Premier League table, four points behind Arsenal in fourth place, although they do have one game in hand.

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