Cristiano Ronaldo scored a dream return as a Manchester United player with a double as the Red Devils beat Newcastle 4-1 in front of a rocking Old Trafford on Saturday. Ronaldo now has 120 United goals to his name, but scored his first since leaving for Real Madrid 12 years ago to take Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men top of the Premier League table. United were made to work harder than expected for the three points, but were able to rely on Ronaldo’s predatory instincts to strike twice either side of Javier Manquillo’s well-worked equaliser.
Bruno Fernandes then sealed a day where Portuguese stars shone with a stunning long-range effort 10 minutes from time before Jesse Lingard rounded off the scoring in stoppage time.
United’s fortunes on the field have declined dramatically since Ronaldo’s departure with no Premier League or Champions League success since Alex Ferguson retired as manager in 2013.
His return was enough to generate a feverish atmosphere among 74,000 in attendance not seen at Old Trafford for many years.
The 36-year-old was serenaded with songs in his honour long before kick-off and even received celebrations of the goals he scored in a shooting drill in the warm-up.
Ronaldo’s arrival has added even more firepower to an already loaded selection of attacking options on offer to Solskjaer.