(Reuters) - Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel says he was disappointed by Cristiano Ronaldo's behaviour during the club's 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday and says the Portuguese has become a distraction at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo walked down the tunnel with a few minutes left after once again being left on the bench by coach Erik ten Hag who said he would deal with the player on Thursday.
It was the one negative aspect of an impressive night for United who outclassed Antonio Conte's Spurs team.
"(Cristiano Ronaldo) leaving like that creates everything we don't want at the moment," Schmeichel told BBC Radio 5 Live. "He would have known that would be headlines.
"It's the first time I can say that I am disappointed with him. Normally I back him, I understand his situation.
"The issue here is he is such a big player, he is such a big presence. Is it a case of playing him or letting him leave? I don't know."
The 37-year-old Ronaldo, who has scored 103 Premier League goals for United, has started only two league games this season but has been a regular in the Europa League.
After a tough start Ten Hag has got United ticking and Schmeichel says the focus needs to be on his progress.
United are in fifth place, eight points behind leaders Arsenal but only one behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
"We have got Erik ten Hag in now who has very clear ideas about the way he wants to play football. We need understanding and time from everyone," Schmeichel said.
"We don't need distractions like that, and that's a disappointment, I would say."