Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal on Man Utd return in pictures
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared that fans can ‘dream’ of the Premier League title after Cristiano Ronaldo marked his long-awaited return to Old Trafford with a brace against Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon. The mercurial 36-year-old found the net either side of half-time to help the Red Devils seal a 4-1 victory and leapfrog Tottenham at the top of the table.
Ronaldo was selected to start the match in attack for United alongside Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood and compatriot Bruno Fernandes.
He opened his account on the stroke of half-time, bundling the ball home after Greenwood’s long-range effort was parried into his path by Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.
The forward’s second goal arrived shortly after the hour mark as he produced a sensational two-touch finish to fire United back in front after Javier Manquillo had equalised for the visitors.
Fernandes and Jesse Lingard got in on the act as the clock ticked down at Old Trafford to hand the hosts a big win on Ronaldo’s second debut for the club.
Solskjaer waxed lyrical over the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s performance after the final whistle, telling BBC Sport that United fans can happily dream of what could be achieved with Ronaldo in the squad this season.
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“So happy for Ronaldo, the team and the supporters” said the 47-year-old.
“You sensed the atmosphere around the club when he signed. He has delivered today.
“Ronaldo senses the big moments and is ruthless. He is clinical, has lifted the team and everyone around us.
“The fans can dream, we will keep our feet on the ground.”
When quizzed on his decision to start Ronaldo upon his return to United, Solskjaer admitted that he did not hesitate to include the forward from the first whistle, underlining the profound effect his presence had on the atmosphere inside Old Trafford.
When asked if he considered leaving his latest acquisition on the bench, the Red Devils boss told reporters: “No. Of course not.
“This is what Cristiano is about. This was a day for everyone to enjoy.
“It has changed [the atmosphere]. A few months back you think how it was here.
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“This is what Man United supporters should feel like.”
Ronaldo will be looking to continue his strong form on Tuesday when United travel to face Young Boys in their Champions League group stage opener.
Their next Premier League match will be against West Ham United at the London Stadium in eight days’ time.
United now sit atop the table on goal difference, having scored 11 and conceded three since the beginning of the new season.
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