Mason Greenwood’s contributions for Manchester United could come under the microscope again after his decision-making in front of goal left Cristiano Ronaldo visibly frustrated during the win over West Ham on Saturday.
United picked up a vital three points thanks to Marcus Rashford’s dramatic 93rd-minute tap-in at Old Trafford.
Victory saw them leapfrog the Hammers into fourth place in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s matches for rivals Tottenham and Arsenal.
Rashford’s goal, which came from a slick move involving fellow substitutes Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani, provided the perfect finale for United.
But before that it had been a tight and tense match for Ralf Rangnick’s side, with chances few and far between.
The scarcity of openings made Greenwood’s wastefulness stand out – especially because it was highlighted, once again, by Ronaldo’s body language.
Twice Ronaldo appeared irritated at the youngster’s insistence on shooting from difficult positions, rather than passing to him.
First, Greenwood attempted to score from a rebound off a Ronaldo free-kick, before seeing a shot blocked when Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes – who had played the pass – were open in the box.
Ultimately it did not cost United as Rangnick’s substitutions helped bring a crucial win, but Ronaldo’s comments from earlier this month are now particularly eyebrow raising.
“If I give you advice, even if you are younger than me, if you don’t implant that during your daily life, it will be difficult,” he told Sky Sports.
“I can speak all day with that person, but if it’s not coming from inside of you, it’s impossible. I remember when I was 18, 19, 20, some older players spoke with me, but I put that as: ‘Cristiano, you have to improve – they know more than you, they are more experienced than you, they passed through many bad moments.’
“But other people, they don’t accept that, if you criticise them. I don’t say this in relation to our players, but in general. I have kids, I know.
“Sometimes when you’re a little bit harder, they do the opposite, so you have to find the right balance to speak with them.”
Ronaldo did not name-check Greenwood, but it appears the youngster might have his card marked by his veteran team-mate.