Ronaldo Scores Twice On Manchester United Return


Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice on his return to
Manchester United as the hosts eventually cruised to
victory against Newcastle to send Old Trafford into
Cheered from the moment he left the team coach on its
arrival at the ground, throughout the warm-up and then
once the game had started, Ronaldo repaid the backing in
the best possible manner.
Twelve years after he last scored for Manchester United in
this stadium, Ronaldo broke the deadlock in first-half
added time when he tapped in after visiting keeper
Freddie Woodman spilled Mason Greenwood’s shot.
Then, after former Liverpool defender Javier Manquillo
had levelled with his first Newcastle goal, Ronaldo finished
off a flowing move by racing onto Luke Shaw’s through
ball and drilling a low shot through Woodman’s legs.
His international team-mate Bruno Fernandes then rifled in
the goal of the game as he collected Paul Pogba’s square
pass and curled a shot into the top corner from the edge
of the area. Substitute Jesse Lingard added a fourth in
added time.
The margin of victory was harsh on Steve Bruce’s men,
who played well for long periods. But that didn’t matter to
the home fans, who had the added bonus of their side
returning to the top of the Premier League.
Significant day for Manchester Utd
You only had to look in the directors’ box to understand
this was a special day for the hosts.
Another legendary former Manchester United forward,
Ryan Giggs, was there. So too executive vice-chairman Ed
Woodward, who has not been seen since the Super
League debacle and co-chairman Avram Glazer, who was
making his first Old Trafford visit in two years.
Glazer and Woodward both played central roles in
Ronaldo’s return to the club from Juventus.
However, arguably Sir Alex Ferguson was even more
significant, ringing the Portuguese to implore him to return
to the club where he is still feted as a hero, rather than
accept an offer from Manchester City.
His return has not been greeted warmly by everyone
though, with a banner flown over Old Trafford by feminist
group Level Up, who wanted to remind people about the
allegations against Ronaldo.
On the pitch, though, Ronaldo proved he still has so much
to offer at the age of 36.
His opener showed the value of anticipation, as he
followed Greenwood’s shot in when the Newcastle
defenders stood back.
The second emphasised Ronaldo retains enough speed to
cause panic for defences as he charged clear to take his
overall United tally to 120.
There was, however, to be no repeat of the hat-trick
Ronaldo scored on his last appearance against Newcastle
at Old Trafford in January 2008.
Nevertheless, with Fernandes delivering the kind of goal
that has earned him hero status at the club and Lingard
finishing matters off after opting to stay at United rather
than return to West Ham, it was a victory that went beyond
the contribution of a single individual – even if Ronaldo’s
name will dominate the aftermath.