Jamie Carragher has delivered a damning assessment of Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Manchester United after claiming it has added to their problem of being a 'team of individuals' and further hampering their chances of winning the Premier League title.
The Portuguese megastar has netted six goals in five appearances on his return to Old Trafford, but has not stopped the Red Devils slumping to defeats against Aston Villa, BSC Young Boys and West Ham United, ahead of being held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Everton on Saturday.
The aftermath of that most recent result saw Ronaldo storm off down the tunnel, in scenes which will intensify the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
"They remain a team of individuals rather than a team. Cristiano Ronaldo has added to that rather than fixed it. That's why, despite a brilliant squad, they are not yet at the level of the other three," he told The Telegraph.
"Dropping five points in their last two home games highlighted lingering inconsistency.
"They (City) are still the team to beat,' he says. 'There was a question mark against them after failing to replace Sergio Aguero, but it is business as usual for Pep Guardiola.
"They have gone to the two toughest venues and taken four points, justifying being favourites to win it again. They will take some stopping."
Mohamed Salah has been in electric form for Carragher's former club, after scoring a sublime goal in the Reds' 2-2 draw with City on Sunday, and the Liverpool legend believes that the Egyptian is a make-or-break component in their title charge.
"He is the best player in the Premier League at the moment. Because of him, Liverpool have a chance of winning the title again. Without him, I would say they have no chance. That's why I am desperate for him to sign a new contract."
Liverpool remain the only unbeaten team in the Premier League with 15 points after seven games - one point adrift of league leaders Chelsea. Meanwhile, City and United are currently neck-and-neck in the table with 14 points apiece in third and fourth places respectively.
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