Cristiano Ronaldo gave Manchester United players a rousing team-talk in the tunnel before they launched a sensational comeback against Villarreal in their Wednesday night Champions League clash.
United looked disjointed and lacklustre for much of the game, deservedly falling behind in the 55th minute thanks to a Paco Alcacer goal.
The Red Devils eventually clawed their way back with a sublime Alex Telles volley, having already lost their opening group stage match to Young Boys in disappointing fashion.
And the stage was set for Ronaldo, who took control and sent the Theatre of Dreams into a frenzy after his last gasp stoppage time winner.
But the 36-year-old had a greater impact than just his goal, using his experience to motivate his teammates who were shell-shocked by the time the half-time whistle blew.
Speaking to BT Sport, Ronaldo said: “We believe, I said to the players in the tunnel before the second half we should believe.
“And it’s good. I score a goal in the 94, 95 minutes which made me feel very happy.”
Ronaldo’s goal came after last ditch play from United’s forwards – Edinson Cavani battling to keep the ball and Bruno Fernandes threading through Fred, whose whipped delivery met Ronaldo’s head in the box.
Do you think Ronaldo can guide United to silverware this season? Let us know in the comments section.
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Jesse Lingard seemed to be in after the ball fell to him but it bounced off his foot only to reach Ronaldo, who ruthlessly buried it.
Another notable performance came from goalkeeper David de Gea who kept Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the game with several outstanding saves when they were under enormous pressure.
The Red Devils were desperate for a win, having lost three of their last four in all competitions before facing Villarreal.
They face Everton at home next in the Premier League.
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