Late Ronaldo Strike Gives Manchester United Champions League Boost
It looked like being an awful night in what was becoming an awful run of outs for Manchester United.
A goal down at home to Villareal, the same team who beat them in the Europa League final last season, and once again out of ideas, United were limping towards another defeat that would have seen them take zero points from their opening two group stage games.
Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles were being tormented down the flanks, and if it wasn’t for goalkeeper David de Gea putting in a world-class performance, the yellow submarines would have sunk the red devils in the first half.
However, as so often happened at Old Trafford during the Fergie years, United found something when they were off the boil, and grabbed an unlikely equaliser as Telles gained some form of redemption with a Scholes-esque volley on the hour mark.
With Old Trafford brought to life, United pushed in search for a winner, and when it finally did come, it was who else but Ronaldo in the last minute of stoppage time, much to the delight of his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“He’s done that so many times. You saw him against Ireland a month ago; he missed a penalty early, didn’t touch the ball more or less and scored two great headers in the last minutes.
“That’s what he’s done throughout his career. He stays in the game. I’ve seen him all day, the way he’s built up for this game, and when he gets that one chance, it’s a goal.
“He had a couple of half chances, but a true mark of a great finisher is that he keeps calm when the chance arrives.
“Thankfully, we had the best goalkeeper in the world tonight. David was fantastic. They deserved to lead.
“David has really come back [after the summer] with a determination and work rate I enjoy. Again, he got a deserved outcome. He saved us tonight. We have to be realistic and say that,” said Solskjaer.
While it wasn’t a performance that will strike fear into clubs across Europe, the fans went home happy, leaving the stadium to the tune of ‘Viva Ronaldo’ and Solskjaer proved that, once again, he can get a result when he needs one.