Judging by Cristiano Ronaldo’s second debut for Manchester United, It’s easy to say his homecoming is a testament of hope and assurance of better things in the offing. The Old Trafford stadium felt overwhelming ecstasy, cheerful uproars as goals were hitting the back of the net.
This made Manchester United fans chuckle for joy when Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace on his second Manchester United debut. It had been a feeling of excitement and anticipation for United fans ahead of the game against Newcastle United when the news broke that the Portuguese star would be donning the red shirt again this weekend after his switch from the Old Ladies.
The outing was a reflection of what the theatre of dreams was made of in time past during the reign of their most decorated Scottish gaffer. Are United of old back or this is just a short-lived fantasy?
Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford after 12 years of career-fulfilling adventures. His exit came like a thief in the night when he joined the Spanish giants Real Madrid for a record fee of £80 million in 2009.
After 12 seasons, the Portuguese maestro made a triumphant homecoming with a bang of brace when United thrashed Newcastle United 4-1 in their English Premier League match week four encounter at the Theatre of Dreams.
Before the game against the Magpies, it was presumed that the Portuguese international may not feature for United due to Covid-19 quarantine precautions but that didn’t stop the enigmatic Ronaldo, he beat all odds and showed the world that he’s still the same Ronaldo even at 36-years-old.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner signed for United from Juventus last month after 3 seasons in Turin.
Ronaldo started his scoring spree on the stroke of halftime, pouncing from close range after Newcastle sweeper Freddie Woodman spilled out a low drive from United teenager, Mason Greenwood.
United finished the first half on top with the solitary goal from the boot of Cristiano. However, Javier Manquillo scored Newcastle United’s leveler in the 56th minute with a low right-foot drive after Miguel Almiron had led a speedy counter from the visitors.
Ronaldo ascended United to a lead again in the 62nd minute with his second goal of the game through a Luke Shaw assist before he fired through Woodman’s legs. He reeled off to jubilate with his teammates in front of an ecstatic Stretford End.
His compatriot Bruno Fernandes put the icing on the cake with a spectacular screamer 10 minutes to the stoppage time, a square pass from Labile Paul Pogba resulted in the goal for United which ensured that the 3 points were in the bag.
Disgruntled want away Jesse Lingard was brought in for Jadon Sancho. In the 92nd minute, he added to the celebration with a well-taken shot from close range inside the eighteen-yard box after a good assist from Pogba.
With Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence at Manchester United, the coast looks clear for the Red Devils to mount formidable pressure and challenge for the EPL title. The last time they won the league title was in 2013 during the reign of their most decorated manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson. Since then, they’ve been longing for it but all to no avail.
After the needed victory, critical questions have been trooping in, Is Ronaldo the missing piece in the puzzle or is he the special one to make United challenge again?
Would the current crops of players with Ronaldo back to the fold be enough to mount a formidable challenge for the league title against other challengers like Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City? Is the manager (Ole Gunnar Solskjær) competent enough to push them to the finish line?
If they keep the momentum going the way they did their business against the Magpies and Ronaldo keeps scoring, they could be title winners come May next year.