Sunday, 19 September, 2021

Brace on the homecoming

  • Shouro Aalok Raha
  • 12th September, 2021 10:42:17 AM
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Brace on the homecoming

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After all the hype, drama and build-up, the 36 year old Ronaldo made his second debut for the Red Devils in an almost inevitable way. He scored a brace where Manchester United finished the match 4-1 against New Castle in the Old Trafford on Saturday.

It was almost decided that Ronaldo would play the match against Newcastle when Ole confirmed it in the last press meeting but it came out like a surprise for the fans seeing him in the starting 11.  Fans were all around the stadium wearing the shirt written of his name and number and Ronaldo didn’t disappointed them. Just before the half time he scored his first goal of his second Manchester United phase.

He was placed in the middle of an attacking trio with Mason Greenwood to his right and Jadon Sancho to the left with Fernandes hovering behind the front line. The five-times Champions League winner, who returned to United from Juventus last month, opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, pouncing from close range after Newcastle keeper Freddie Woodman spilled out a low drive from Greenwood.

It wasn't spectacular but it was the perfect example of the way Ronaldo, a speedy winger in his first spell at United, has re-shaped himself as a goal-poaching striker. It wasn't all a 'welcome home' party, however, as Javier Manquillo brought Newcastle level in the 56th minute with a low right-foot drive after Miguel Almiron had led a swift break from the visitors.

Newcastle had exposed an obvious drawback with the attacking line-up chosen by Solskjaer - their vulnerability to the counterattack - and it remains to be seen if better teams will be able to take greater advantage of the lack of protection in front of United's back four.

United's momentum was in danger of being lost but once again the Portuguese showed his deadliness in front of goal, restoring the lead in the 62nd minute with a goal that truly did recall his early days under Alex Ferguson. He showed power and speed as he latched on to a through ball from Luke Shaw and despite the presence of two defenders, fired through Woodman's legs before reeling off to celebrate with his team-mates in front of an ecstatic Stretford End. After that it was all about the reds in the match where Fernandes scored a stunner and Lingard with an extra time goal both assisted by Pogba. Manchester United are now on the top the table and the poster boy won everyone’s heart.