Michael Carrick's decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo has been backed by ex- Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.

The Manchester United caretaker manager opted to bench the five-time Ballon d'Or winner for the Red Devils' trip to Chelsea in the Premier League.

Carrick revealed that the 36-year-old, who scored twice against Villarreal on Tuesday to send United through to the Champions League knockout stages, was "great" in receiving the news.

And Carragher says the temporary boss "had to" make the call.

"I think he had to do that to be honest," the Anfield hero said on Sky Sports pre-match.

Join the debate! Was Carrick right to drop Ronaldo? Give us your verdict here.

Ronaldo was dropped to the bench for Man Utd at Chelsea (

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Manchester United via Getty Imag)

"Even when you're part of a coaching set up, everyone has different views on the team or how the team should be set up.

"It was really interesting to see what he did with Bruno Fernandes, bringing Anthony Martial back in, what he did with Martial and Ronaldo swapping positions at different times.

"He did put his own stamp on that. I think he had to do that because he didn't want to look like Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer ]'s guy doing exactly the same.

"Things haven't been going well, we know that. He will be pleased how that game [Villarreal] went."

Carragher added: "I'm sure he'll have a similar plan today.

"It will be interesting to see if what he did in Villarreal and what he does today is actually just picking certain ways of playing for certain games.

"Obviously they are without their two main centre-backs. Or this is a case of seeing what Michael Carrick is about and this is how he sees Manchester United going forward."

Explaining his hotly-debated decision, Carrick told MUTV : "We have great options.

"We've terrific squad to pick from. There's a few little tweaks and changes from the other night.

"The boys who have come out of the team have been terrific around the group, fantastic in and around the changing room, as were the other boys the other night.

"It's a real team effort, and we're looking forward to the game today."

Carragher has backed Carrick for dropping Ronaldo (

Image:

Sky Sports)

Carrick has also recalled Fernandes, who he dropped for the 2-0 midweek win.

The Portuguese playmaker was asked about if he had a point to prove back in the starting XI and responded to Sky Sports : "No. We have to prove something every day.

"On the training pitch, in the games, every day you have to prove your qualities if you want to play in the first XI.

"If you deserve to play in the first XI, you have to prove it every day.

"That's what I'm about, I'm doing that since I came to the club and started playing football.

"I have to prove that firstly to myself and then to everyone else."

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