Are Man United still feeling the Ronaldo effect?

There are those who have insisted that Man United’s Champions League exit was solely down to one refereeing mistake – sending off Luis Nani.

Is there a bigger picture here though. It is a wonder that on Europe’s biggest stage whether they miss that final playmaker piece.

Robin van Persie has added incision in the title race which has been enough to keep them well clear of the rest, but to be fully dominant more is needed.

Since Ronaldo left Old Trafford for Real Madrid the Red Devils adapted their style of play to attack teams through swift counter attacking wing play, but it is missing the star man to cut through the centre of teams.

Tom Cleverley has threatened at times to fulfil this role, whilst Kagawa’s performance on the weekend would certainly bring smiles to Man United fans faces, although if they are not to be narrowly short next time a big Champions League game comes knocking they need the final piece in the jigsaw.

Man United deserve great credit for how they have dominated the Premier League but they need to consider replacing their stars in the centre of the park.

Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs may have been great stalwarts for the club but they need to replaced and within the next season, with efficient replacements. They can only do so much.

Cristiano Ronaldo made an emotional return to Old Trafford last night, but if Man United fans want to experience happy emotions in the future they may want to look back to what their old number 7 used to produce.