On a big night for Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag, his decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo and club captain Harry Maguire paid dividends as their high tempo blitzed Liverpool for the opening 30 minutes. A 2-1 win with composed finishes by Jadon Sancho in the 16th minute and Marcus Rashford in the 53rd earned United their first points in the Premier League this season.
Ronaldo settled for being a late substitute at Old Trafford but he made waves even before kick-off, where he gatecrashed Sky Sports' coverage but completely ignored Jamie Carragher.
The Portuguese superstar embraced his former United teammates Roy Keane and Gary Neville, but deliberately snubbed Carragher, who laughed it off by saying the five-time Ballon d'Or winner totally blanked him.
Former Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique has slammed Ronaldo for his unruly behaviour, saying he will never like him as a player.
"Keane and Gary (Neville) have been killing him on Sky Sports as well so I'm sure it is not because of that. Someone that played football for that long and made so many appearances for Liverpool at least you say hi out of respect. Another thing why I will never like Cristiano Ronaldo and when football finishes let's see who he will have around being like this," the ex-Liverpool star wrote.
Ronaldo's substitute appearance against Liverpool ignited a fresh debate about his future but Ten Hag insisted that the forward still has a future at Manchester United.
"I think he can. In his whole career he did it under several managers, in several styles and systems. He always performs so why can't he do this? His age is not an issue," Ten Hag said after the Liverpool game.
"We have a squad and we have a way of playing, a style and a game plan. You look at what is the best approach to the game. Today it was those players, Saturday it could be different."
Pressed on Ronaldo and Maguire's future, Ten Hag added: "I don't have to mention Harry Maguire and Ronaldo, they are amazing players and they will play a role in the future, the short (term) future as well.
"It is always difficult (to leave them out) but I have decisions to make."