The forward hit the last of his team’s goals in a 3-0 win over Sheriff Tiraspol
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the Manchester United team with a goal following a turbulent two weeks which saw the Portuguese forward briefly banished from the squad by manager Erik ten Hag.
Making a rare appearance in the starting line-up, Ronaldo missed a string of chances before converting an effort in the 83rd minute of the UEFA Europa League meeting with Sheriff Tiraspol at Old Trafford on Thursday night.
Ronaldo initially saw his header saved by Sheriff goalkeeper Maksim Koval before lashing in the rebound to cap a 3-0 win for United against the Moldovans.
Up to that point, the 37-year-old had endured a frustrating night after spurning several chances and having a second-half effort ruled out for offside.
Having sidelined Ronaldo from the United squad for the game at Chelsea last weekend, following the forward’s early touchline departure against Tottenham one week previously, United manager Ten Hag praised the forward for his contribution on Thursday.
“He didn’t give up,” said the Dutchman. “I think that’s what he’s done his whole career, and in the end he got his reward for it. The team kept going to put him in the right position, and he kept going to get himself in the right position.”
Elsewhere, Argentine teenager Alejandro Garnacho impressed on his full debut on the left wing, while summer signing Antony caused bemusement with some of his showboating with the score at 0-0 in the first half, before he was replaced at the break.
Captain Harry Maguire also made a second-half appearance as the Englishman looks to restore his dented confidence.
United’s goals came from Diogo Dalot on the stroke of half-time and Marcus Rashford 20 minutes after the restart, before Ronaldo struck late on – celebrating with his new “sleeping” pose.
The goal was Ronaldo’s third of the season in 13 appearances and his second in the Europa League, while the win keeps United second in the Group E standings – three points behind leaders Real Sociedad.
The English club must beat their Spanish rivals by two clear goals in their meeting next week in San Sebastian to ensure automatic passage to the last 16 of the competition. Otherwise, Ronaldo and co. will have to negotiate the knockout round playoffs in Europe’s second-tier club competition.
Before then, United host West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday, as Ten Hag’s team continue their pursuit of a top-four spot.
https://ift.tt/fkOe9Ml 28, 2022 at 01:35PM
from RT – Daily news