It’s the Ronaldo United but how long can the over-reliance last?
What could have been more perfect to describe Ronaldo’s second debut goal for Manchester United in their Champions League campaign this season than legendary?
His show of glamour at Old Trafford yet again blew people away as he sealed a stoppage-time win for United as they came from behind to secure an unforgettable 2-1 victory in their second UCL game in group F over stubborn Villarreal at Old Trafford.
Before the game last night, the yellow Submarines have been a tough nut to Crack for Manchester United over the years, most of their meetings against the Spanish club have been a stalemate.
Last year’s encounter against the same side led by former Arsenal boss, Unai Emery in the Europa final wasn’t palatable either as they defeated United to the trophy through penalty shootouts.
The Portuguese international on the night set a new record for the most appearances in the UEFA champions league competition in history. United’s new number 7 moved his appearances further in the competition.
This means that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is one clear of Spanish legendary keeper, Iker Casillas who was the previous record holder of the most Lucrative European football event.
Having equated the Spaniard after featuring for united against BSC Young Boys earlier in the competition, Ronaldo is now leading the chart with 178 appearances.
The former Madrid all-time highest goal scorer delivered the goods once again to rescue his underfire coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from what would have been another disappointing night in front of their gazing fans.
The Red Devils had been trailing via a goal by Paco Alcacer in the 53rd minute but Alex Telles’ leveler with a magnificent volley brought United back into the encounter and resulted in a shift in momentum.
Before the tie, Manchester United had suffered three defeats in their last four games, including the shock away loss to Young Boys in Switzerland in their UCL opener in group F.
United’s dip in form has been brewing discontentment and fans are extremely gutted seeing their beloved club losing games recklessly.
They could not afford another slip up again, thanks to goal machine Ronaldo who provided a soothing balm when it was most needed.
Unai Emery’s organization, team setup, excellent coordination, and never back down mentality have been the Spaniard’s mantra over the years. From the blast of the whistle, an upset looked very much on the cards, and had the yellow Submarine been imperious in front of goal, the contest could have been in favor of the troubling visitors.
With the absence of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, and Luke Shaw from the heart of the defense, the Red Devils were exposed at the back on several occasions in the first phase of the game.
Arnaut Danjuma troubled United’s right-back Dalot and tested David De Gea two times after cutting in from the left flank.
However, Ronaldo as he’s always been, stole the show with a deciding goal a few minutes away from full time, he’s a man for big occasions and he’s done it so many times without number.
Manchester United are now third in Group F behind Young Boys. Meanwhile, Atalanta’s 1-0 victory against the Swizz side took them to the summit of the group with 4 points. Villarreal are bottom on the table with a point.
United, if well-coordinated and imbued with necessary tactics, have every chance to move to the next round of UCL this season.
The Red Devils would host Toffees in their domestic league game this weekend at Old Trafford, and a win against Everton would send a message of intent and signal their title aspirations.