The ball went dead in the small area after a shot from Mason Greenwood. His left-handed kick deflected it as best goalkeeper Woodman could, but the ball was crying out for someone to push it into goal. A few players were hanging around there. There were Newcastle defenders, there were Manchester United attackers. But none was as close as Cristiano Ronaldo, eager for a goal, who reacted quickly and scored a simple goal in execution but outstanding in attitude: who else was not going to reach that ball first. The Portuguese, in his second debut for Manchester United, opened his scoring account in the 47th minute, just before half-time, and ran to the Old Trafford corner where he made his usual celebration. The “SIIUUU” was shouted in Manchester. And it was not the only one that was sung during the afternoon. It was the perfect comeback.
No one was going to miss it. Eminences such as Ryan Giggs, followed by his son, gradually settled in the Old Trafford box; Jorge Mendes, the agent who negotiated the transfer; Sir Alex Ferguson, the true legend of the Theater of Dreams and soccer father of the Portuguese star; Ed Woodward, CEO of the Red Devils; and even Avie Glazer, one of the club’s owners, who attended a Manchester United match for the first time in two years on the occasion, of course, of one of the club’s greatest strategic moves in the last five years. They were all there when Cristiano Ronaldo jumped onto the grass, last in line, crossing himself on the road and smiling at the stands.
Manchester United received their legend with open arms and Cristiano responded to the level of expectation. The Portuguese opened the scoring with 1-0 and excited the Old Trafford stands with every ball he touched, most of them from behind, throughout the first half. With Bruno Fernandes at the midfielder and Greenood and Sancho at the ends, the Red Devils failed to open the defense of a Newcastle who tried to lose time very early.
When they came back from the locker room, however, they hit an ax in a counterattack made by Miguel Almirón, who dribbled past several opponents and opened the opposing band. There, Saint-Maximin enabled Manquillo and he crossed it to De Gea to achieve 1-1.
At the height of weakness, when Manchester United had to respond, Cristiano Ronaldo appeared again. His signing is also oriented to overcome these situations: moments of crisis, moments of Cristiano. And it appears, of course it appears. The Portuguese threw a deflection in the direction of the goal, Shaw saw it and left him the ball in the run. Cristiano controlled with his left, went into the area and again drilled Woodman.
Second goal, second “SIIUUU” from Old Trafford. The return of the prodigal son could not be better. As if that were not enough, Bruno Fernandes extended the scoreboard to avoid any kind of fear in the last minutes: he hooked a ball in the front and sent it to the squad, unstoppable, remembering that if Cristiano is not there, there is still him. And if not another will appear, because this Manchester United has gasoline to spare. Rashford and Cavani, for example, did not enter the call for physical problems, so the changes were Lingard, Martial and Van de Beek. To round off a perfect afternoon, and after Solskjaer’s substitutions, Lingard made it 4-1 after a great team play between Pogba, Martial and himself. Cristiano Ronaldo played all ninety minutes.
Manchester United thus achieves its third victory in four days and is positioned as the leader of the Premier League, the ultimate goal of the course: since 2013, with Sir Alex Ferguson, they have not won the league title. Although with this template and this offensive front they can aspire to everything they propose.
Jesse lingard (65 ‘, Jadon Sancho), Murphy (76 ‘, Manquillo), Jamal lewis (83 ‘, Clark), Anthony Martial (84 ‘, Bruno Fernandes), van de Beek (84 ‘, Mason Greenwood), Jeff Hendrick (85 ‘, Joseph Willock)
1-0, 46 ‘: Christian, 1-1, 55 ‘: Manquillo, 2-1, 61 ‘: Christian, 3-1, 79 ‘: Bruno fernandes, 4-1, 91 ‘: Jesse lingard
Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR Referee: Craig Pawson
Pogba (59 ‘, Yellow