The celebrations started in the 95th minute and continued for almost an hour after the full-time whistle.
Manchester United needed some cheer, and they got it as Wednesday’s Champions League match against Villarreal was won five minutes into stoppage time. “Viva Ronaldo” filled the air on a night reminiscent of the glory days – for both United and their match-winner.
Cristiano Ronaldo enjoys playing in the Champions League. He provided further proof by delivering another unforgettable moment in the competition.
The Portuguese superstar has scored many great and important goals in European competition. Here was one that brought United’s delighted supporters to their feet. Those present for the first Champions League match in front of a crowd at Old Trafford for two and a half years had been treated to a storming finish.
United were disappointing overall against Villarreal and were heading for a third straight game without victory until Ronaldo stroked in from Jesse Lingard’s lay-off.
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Despair turned to joy in a flash as Ronaldo rippled the net before running off to the corner, ripping off his shirt and throwing it into the air in celebration.
“That is what happens at Old Trafford,” manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BT Sport. “It has happened so many times before. We had to throw caution to the wind and we got lucky in the end.
“Sometimes it is not about ‘pass there, pass there’, it is the crowd – and they have sucked it in before – and when you have Cristiano on the pitch, you always have a chance. He is so good in front of goal and he has an impact on everyone.”
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