Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal on Man Utd return in pictures
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Cristiano Ronaldo has requested Manchester United fans continue to support the club during difficult times following his heroics against Villarreal on Wednesday. The Red Devils were dire throughout the majority of the Champions League contest at Old Trafford. But they still picked up a vital three points regardless.
Villarreal tested David De Gea on numerous occasions before finally finding a way past the Spaniard in the 55th minute.
Former Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer notched for the La Liga giants, giving them a lead they deserved.
But then, United upped the ante.
Alex Telles levelled for the Red Devils with a sublime volley, striking the ball following a deft chip from Bruno Fernandes.
And, in the 95th minute of the match, Ronaldo rose to the fore to tap in from close range and bring Old Trafford to its feet.
Now, speaking to MUTV in the aftermath of the contest, the Portugal international has requested fans continue to show their support.
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“Sometimes the players, we try to do our job, to play good and score goals but sometimes it is not possible,” he said.
“The fans have this role as well when the team is in a difficult moment, they need to push us.
“This is why I say and ask them if they can do that.
“They give us motivation to keep going and to keep running and keep believing.
“So, today, this is what we felt. We are so happy. A very important win and we are in a good way now.”
Ronaldo’s winner came after he broke another Champions League record, this time for the most number of appearances in the competition.
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And, addressing that, the 36-year-old added: “Unbelievable!
“Another chapter, another beautiful chapter, so I’m so happy to score the winning goal and the way I did it.
“The most appearances in history and to score a goal. A great night.
“I have to mention the attitude of the team which is the most important [thing] here.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was seen wildly celebrating Ronaldo’s late goal, having looked glum just moments beforehand.
And the Norwegian paid tribute to his No 7, while also hailing De Gea for a ‘man of the match’ display.
“He’s [Ronaldo] done that so many times,” Solskjaer said.
“When you saw him against the Republic of Ireland a few weeks ago [for Portugal], he missed a penalty early, didn’t touch the ball more or less and then scored two great headers in the last two minutes.
“That’s just what he’s done throughout his career. He’s so strong mentally.
“He stays in the game, I’ve seen him all day today, the way he’s built himself up for this game, how focused he’s been and when he gets that one chance, it’s a goal.
“But a true mark of a very good finisher is that he keeps calm when the chance arrives.
“He’s so good in front of goal and he has an impact on everyone – the crowd, the players, everyone.
On De Gea, he continued: ”He had a difficult summer after the final.
“He went to the Euros, didn’t play there, but he’s really come back with a determination and a belief and a work rate that I’ve enjoyed.
“And today, he got a deserved outcome because he saved us tonight, we have to be realistic and say that.
“We’ve got two very good keepers in Dean [Henderson] and Tom [Heaton] too, but tonight, David deserves, from me, the man of the match.”
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