Manchester United 4 Newcastle 1: Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice to steal the show

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·14-min read
Manchester United 4 Newcastle 1: Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice to steal the show
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Cristiano Ronaldo is back.

The Portuguese legend rolled back the clock with two goals on his second Manchester United debut in a 4-1 win against Newcastle.

The 36-year-old returned to Old Trafford 12 years after leaving for Real Madrid and proved he is still a match-winner of the highest quality.

He will face tougher tests than Steve Bruce’s side – but this felt like a statement from the forward of what the Premier League can expect from his second-coming.

He is not the flying winger he once was. He is now the consummate poached and he needed only two sights at goal to make Newcastle pay.

Old Trafford erupted as he fired United ahead in first half stoppage time when Mason Greewood’s strike was fumbled by Freddie Woodman.

It was not a classic – but it was the type of goal United do not score often enough, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer often bemoaning the lack of desire from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to gamble in the six-yard box.

Newcastle momentarily stunned the home crowd when Javier Manquillo levelled on 56 mintues – but it was Ronaldo who restored United’s lead.

Luke Shaw’s run and lay off gave Ronaldo the chance to strike from just inside the box and he powered an effort through the legs of Woodman after 62 minutes.

Bruno Fernandes scored the goal of the game with a 25-yarder with 10 minutes to and substitute Jesse Lingard rounded off the scoring in stoppage time.

Follow Manchester United vs Newcastle with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog and James Robson at Old Trafford...

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Key Points

  • HT: Man Utd 1 Newcastle

  • GOAL: 1-0, Ronaldo scores

  • Newcastle frustrate United

  • Ronaldo starts

  • The hottest ticket in town

  • Ronaldo’s debut stats

16:53 , James Robson

Full time

16:53 , James Robson

What a return for Ronaldo. That was a statement performance and it wasn’t as if he was at his best.

Premier League defenders beware!

GOAL 90 +2 minutes

16:51 , James Robson

Now Lingard is on the score sheet. Good work from Martial and Pogba in the build up.

86 minutes

16:45 , James Robson

Substitutions:

Martial and Van de Beek for Greenwood and Fernandes.

Hendrick for Willock.

84 minutes

16:43 , James Robson

Newcastle substitution with Lewis coming on for Clark.

GOAL 80 minutes

16:40 , James Robson

3-1

Fernandes makes sure he is not forgotten. An absolutely brilliant strike from about 25 yards into the top corner.

77 minutes

16:36 , James Robson

United are looking more comfortable now. Newcastle are being forced to defend deep and have shown little sign of bursting forward. Can Ronaldo crown a perfect day with a hat-trick?

67 minutes

16:27 , James Robson

Newcastle are not lying down here. Joelinton forces a snap save from De Gea.

66 minutes

16:25 , James Robson

Substitution:

Lingard comes on for Sancho.

GOAL 62 minutes

16:22 , James Robson

2-1

Guess who? Newcastle were on level terms for less than six minutes.

A break from United and Shaw plays in Ronaldo to blast through the legs of Woodman.

60 minutes

16:20 , James Robson

Yellow card for Pogba. Looked like he was punished for trying a Maradona turn, which Longstaff happened to get in the way of.

58 minutes

16:18 , James Robson

Almiron almost punishes United again. His run from just outside his own area takes him into United’s box, but his cross cannot find Saint-Maximin.

GOAL 56 minutes

16:16 , James Robson

1-1

United have been warned on a number of occasions about Newcastle’s breaks. On this occasion they were made to pay with Almiron’s run. He played the ball to Saint-Maximin, who then laid off too Manquillo to fire past De Gea on the angle.

53 minutes

16:12 , James Robson

Newcastle are still a threat here. Their decision making could be better, but there is a certain amount of menace when they go forward.

47 minutes

16:07 , James Robson

Wan-Bissaka’s delivery has been poor today - but he had every right to expect someone to get on the end of that cross, which was allowed to run through the six-yard box without a United player anywhere near it.

Second half

16:05 , James Robson

They’re back out for the second half

Half time

15:49 , James Robson

Well that has lifted the mood.

Ronaldo walks towards the tunnel with a smirk on his face. It was an easy enough finish, but Old Trafford has not celebrated like that in a long time.

GOAL! 45 +2

15:47 , James Robson

Ronaldo scores it. Of course.

A shot from Greenwood is spilled and Ronaldo turns it in.

Old Trafford erupts.

39 minutes

15:39 , James Robson

End to end action there. First Saint-Maximin only has Wan-Bissaka beat from the halfway line to have a free run at goal.

The United man does well to stall him.

United charge up the other and Ronaldo has an effort blocked before Fernandes’ cross whistles past Greenwood in the six-yard box.

31 minutes

15:32 , James Robson

Newcastle will be happy enough with the first half-hour. United have been limited to shots from distance, while Newcastle have arguably had the better openings.

Nowhere near enough coherance from United’s attack.

And there was another example of that then when Fernandes, Ronaldo and Sancho broke, but the chance only leads to a corner.

30 minutes

15:30 , James Robson

Fernandes’ shot from distance is nearly turned in by Sancho - but the ball goes wide.

28 minutes

15:28 , James Robson

Willock should have done better there. He was quick to seize on a throw and race into the box, but he blasts his shot way over the bar.

26 minutes

15:26 , James Robson

Is Fernandes trying to steal Ronaldo’s limelight? He’s just tried an audacious effort from the halfway line that isn’t too far over the bar.

23 minutes

15:24 , James Robson

De Gea called into action and again it is because of the running of Saint-Maximin. The ball falls for Ritchie outside of the box and his low drive is held by the United keeper.

19 minutes

15:19 , James Robson

Varane was close to putting United ahead. Shaw’s near post corner was flicked on by the Frenchman, but just bounced wide of the far post.

18 minutes

15:18 , James Robson

Pogba whips in a cross that Fernandes is just short of reaching.

Meanwhile Newcastle keeper Freddie Woodman is annoying the home crowd with his time wasting so early in the game.

16 minutes

15:16 , James Robson

This is Newcastle’s best period. They are putting a bit of pressure on United’s defence with Saint-Maximin’s runs stretching the home team.

14 minutes

15:14 , James Robson

Sancho has done more in the last couple of minutes than at any other point since his move to United. Good to see that dribbling from him. So far in his United career he has looked a bit inhibited.

10 minutes

15:10 , James Robson

And another chance. This time after good work from Sancho, Ronaldo dribbles into the box and shoots into the side-netting.

9 minutes

15:10 , James Robson

Ronaldo tries a left footed volley from an impossibly tight angle after Fernandes’ cross to the far post. Newcastle fans particularly enjoyed seeing him miscue his effort and end up on his backside.

9 minutes

15:08 , James Robson

United are happy to go direct to Ronaldo. That’s twice in the opening minutes they’ve hit it over the top to him, but on neither occasion has he got in under control.

7 minutes

15:07 , James Robson

Joelinton has the first real effort - running into the box from the left, but dragging his shot wide. Doesn’t he know this is the Ronaldo show?

4 minutes

15:05 , James Robson

Ronaldo was close to being through on goal there, but lost his footing before he could get the ball under control.

4 minutes

15:05 , James Robson

Ronaldo was close to being through on goal there, but lost his footing before he could get the ball under control.

3 minutes

15:04 , James Robson

Wan-Bissaka has the first chance to put a ball into the box - but he was too quick to cross and didn’t give United enough time to get bodies in there.

Kick off!

15:00 , James Robson

Here we go

They’re on the pitch

14:57 , James Robson

Ronaldo is the last man out of United’s XI and is greeted by his name being chanted all around Old Trafford.

The stars come out to see Ronaldo

14:54 , James Robson

Quite an array of people in the executive seats today. Gary Oldman, Ryan Giggs and Avi Glazer. Oh and Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, who has just about the biggest smile in Old Trafford right now.

Rio and AJ on Ronaldo

14:44 , James Robson

Rio Ferdinand and Anthony Joshua spoke this week about Ronaldo’s return.

AJ: “Ronaldo is arguably the GOAT but what can I learn as an athlete or someone else chasing their dream”

Rio: “You’ve got to be brave. People never talk about Cristiano’s bravery. He took risks, like coming to another country at a young age. He always stayed the same person too, he never changed for people, he just adapted and that in itself is brave.”

Rio: “Ronaldo was a visionary. When at United, he built a team around himself. I went round to his house one day and there were six or seven people in his living room. I asked who they were and it was his personal masseuse, nutritionist, physio, Dr, chef. No one else was doing that then. People were laughing at him at the time for doing extras but when he won the Ballon d’or (2008), everyone started copying him.’

AJ (on Ronaldo): “That’s what I find interesting about him, that goes back to him being brave because when you have that vision, it doesn’t always sit right with everyone. You know what people say, why’s he got that extra physio, why doesn’t he eat at the club like everyone else. Does it go against the grain? Sometimes you have to go against the grain.”

Rio: “Cristiano is a disruptor. Disruptors in the right way make waves, they’re remembered and they’re not forgotten. When I listen to you speak, there’s very big similarities when I speak to Cristiano like when we’re on a Zoom he will have objects in the background and says ‘that’s for the energy in the room’. This guy is just different, he looks for every little detail that’ll give him the edge. He does mad stuff, he sent me a picture recently after driving two hours to do a deep water recovery sessions in the sea when he was in Turin. Other people are at home just having dinner, Cristiano is looking for that extra edge”

Rio: “If Ronaldo doesn’t get to 40 and isn’t playing at the top level he’ll be very disappointed. I think Giggsy and Sheringham got to 40 but Ronaldo needs to be the main man and he won’t want it any other way.”

AJ: Yeah, that’s what I find so fascinating about him. Joining Man United is a tough ask, it’s a lot of pressure that he’s going to be under. I’ve got to give him credit for that.”

Rio: “He (Ronaldo) doesn’t feel pressure, he expects it. He’s gone to United to win trophies and if they don’t win trophies he’ll see that as a disappointment.”

AJ: This is fascinating. What it tells me is when you face that adversity, you’ve given yourself every advantage whether that’s a chef or a masseuse to pull yourself out at the last minute. He knew how tough it was to reach his level. Being great is about going that extra mile time and time again”

Anthony Joshua and Rio Ferdinand are William Hill ambassadors

Old Trafford welcomes Ronaldo

14:31 , James Robson

No suprise, but the Ronaldo has just walked onto the pitch a recieved an enormous cheer from those already inside Old Trafford. There aren’t many fans in here yet, but they certainly made a noise when he stepped out of the tunnel.

Newcastle Starting XI

14:05 , James Robson

And here is the Newcastle team:

Woodman, Manquillo, Hayden, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Longstaff, Willock, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton

Subs: Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Krafth, Fernandez, Murphy, Darlow, Gayle, White

Ronaldo starts!

14:03 , James Robson

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in Manchester United’s starting line-up against Newcastle, with the Portugal legend making his second Old Trafford debut – 12 years after leaving the club.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not disappoint fans desperate to see their icon back at the Theatre of Dreams.

Ronaldo was a stunning late signing during the transfer window, with United pinching him from under the noses of Manchester City in a £12.8million deal.

Speaking about the 36-year-old in his programme notes, Solskjaer said: “I don’t like to dwell to much on individuals, but I’ll gladly make an exception here as these are my first programme notes since we brought Cristiano Ronaldo back home to Manchester.

“It’s a very special transfer for various reasons. We’re talking about someone who, personally, I regard to be the best player in the history of the game; someone who – as he showed last week for Portugal – is still one of the most devastating goalscorers playing today.

“Ever since the announcement, there’s been a real buzz around the club, not only among supporters, but also among staff and players – they’re all thrilled to have him in the squad and there has been a clear lift in the mood in what was an already happy camp.”

Man Utd XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Matic, Pogba; Sancho, Fernandes, Ronaldo, Greenwood

Subs: Lindelof, Bailly, Mata, Martial, Lingard, Fred, Dalot, Heaton, Van de Beek

Ole on Ron

14:00 , James Robson

Solskjaer said: “I don’t like to dwell to much on individuals, but I’ll gladly make an exception here as these are my first programme notes since we brought Cristiano Ronaldo back home to Manchester.

“It’s a very special transfer for various reasons. We’re talking about someone who, personally, I regard to be the best player in the history of the game; someone who – as he showed last week for Portugal – is still one of the most devastating goalscorers playing today.

“Ever since the announcement, there’s been a real buzz around the club, not only among supporters, but also among staff and players – they’re all thrilled to have him in the squad and there has been a clear lift in the mood in what was an already happy camp.”

The hottest ticket in town

13:45 , Marco Giacomelli

Standard Sport’s James Robson tees up Ronaldo’s return at Old Trafford

Ronaldo’s debut stats

13:02 , Marco Giacomelli

In his five debuts for club and country, Ronaldo has never lost but managed to score just once. That was in a 3-2 win for Real Madrid against Deportivo La Coruna in 2009.

His original debut for United was as a sub against Bolton in 2003. Coming on with just under half an hour to go, United were 1-0 up but Ronaldo sparked a second-half surge as they ran out 4-0 winners.

“It was a marvellous debut,” said Sir Alex Ferguson.

Early United team news

12:50 , Marco Giacomelli

Cristiano Ronaldo aside, United are without Marcus Rashford, who remains sidelined after shoulder surgery, but Scott McTominay was back on the grass at Carrington this week after a groin operation.

Alex Telles is also back in training after an ankle injury, while Dean Henderson, Edinson Cavani and Fred were similarly involved.

Jadon Sancho is expected to be available after a knock disrupted his international break.

Blackout as the star returns

12:41 , Marco Giacomelli

A capacity crowd at Old Trafford will get to witness Cristiano Ronaldo’s homecoming at 3pm. Everyone else will have to wait a bit longer to see the action.

It’s all down to the 3pm blackout as explained here...

Good afternoon

12:37 , Marco Giacomelli

Welcome to Standard Sport’s coverage of today’s Premier League clash between Manchester United and Newcastle.

We’ll have all the team news and build-up ahead of a 3:00pm kick-off...

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