‘Football goes on’: Christian Eriksen says Man United have already forgotten about Cristiano Ronaldo after the star’s stormy exit as Erik ten Hag’s side set their sights on the Premier League top four
Manchester United have already forgotten about Cristiano Ronaldo and moved on from his acrimonious exit, says Christian Eriksen.
United won their first Premier League game since ripping up Ronaldo’s contract over his explosive interview with Piers Morgan when they beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
While Eriksen acknowledged that Ronaldo will always be part of United folklore, the Dane admitted that he has already been consigned to history.
Christian Eriksen (left) celebrates with Marcus Rashford after the England forward scored Manchester United’s opening goal in Tuesday night’s 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest
It was United’s first Premier League game since Cristiano Ronaldo’s contentious exit
United’s win over Forest moved them to within a point of Tottenham in fourth position
‘First of all, we are sad that Ronaldo is not part of it – his legacy and his name at any club is special,’ said Eriksen. ‘For me to be fortunate to play with him in my career was very nice.
‘But the football goes on. You feel that the next game after, people will forget what it was like before and now our focus is really like he is not here.’
United’s win over Forest lifted them to within one point of fourth-placed Tottenham as the club’s revival under manager Erik ten Hag continued.
Eriksen added: ‘We are in a good place. The start of the season was very different compared to now, the football is different to the beginning.
Erik ten Hag’s side moved closer to the top four as they returned to league action on Tuesday
Eriksen fires in a shot during United’s 3-0 win over Forest at Old Trafford on Tuesday night
‘It was a bit hit-and-miss in some games, but I think after that we picked up and we have been building since.
‘You feel that in the group. You feel that the system is working which is something you have to believe in, and I think we are doing that.
‘The atmosphere is good. We have a lot of people coming back from the World Cup, the last guys are coming back and everyone is coming together.
‘It helps winning games and also before we went away for the World Cup, we had a few good wins which makes it easier to come back and start like this.
Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 to move one point off Tottenham in fourth
Anthony Martial doubled United’s lead after he was set up by Rashford after a blistering break
‘It was the first Premier League game after the World Cup, so obviously it was important to get going again. With a 3-0 win at home, it is a good feeling and a good start.
‘The Burnley game was the same (in the Carabao Cup last week). It took a bit of getting into it, but I think that game showed we didn’t lose anything.’
Eriksen helped set up the first goal for Marcus Rashford with a cleverly-worked corner routine that led to the England forward’s 10th goal of the season.
‘It was planned,’ said Eriksen. ‘We practiced it twice on Monday. We saw that coming and luckily it went a lot better than it did in training! It’s always different with opposition and the pitch wasn’t as wet, but it came off perfectly.
Fred wrapped up the win for the hosts as he scored a third in the 87th minute with a neat finish
‘Marcus played very well. I haven’t been on the pitch where he has played a bad game yet. I let him continue that.
‘He is looking sharp and confident, and you can feel that when he is going forward. You feel that in the stadium, and you feel that with him. It is a nice thing and I hope he keeps it going.
‘You can see that he came back pretty confident. He came back in good shape and luckily he has taken that into United.’