Cristiano Ronaldo’s Hat-Trick Fires Manchester United To Fourth
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brilliant hat-trick to fire Manchester United to fourth on the Premier League table after a 3-2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo returned to Manchester United’s starting line and was determined to prove a point, while his countryman Bruno Fernandes was out through illness. The visitors started with Harry Kane in attack, supported by Heung-Min Son and Dejan Kulusevski.
The Portuguese forward opened the scoring with a sensational goal in the 12th minute after he fired a rocket of a shot into the top corner of the net, leaving Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris helpless.
The goal seemed to have spurred the visitors on as Tottenham created more chances. Ben Davies had a goal disallowed after being put in by Son and Eric Dier’s header was cleared off the line by Diogo Dalot.
However, Spurs found an equaliser when Dejan Kulusevski’s cross hit Alex Telles’ hand inside the penalty box. Kane stepped up for the spot kick and fired past David de Gea to make the scores 1-1.
Three minutes later, Jadon Sancho raced in behind the defence and squared the ball for Ronaldo who scored from close range to send the home fans into a frenzy.
The referee blew the half time whistle as the hosts went into the break in front.
In the second half, Tottenham dominated possession as they looked to find its way back into the game, while United played on the counter-attack. The visitors were rewarded with its second goal when Sergio Reguilon’s cross was diverted into the Manchester United net by Harry Maguire for an own-goal.
However, Ronaldo wasn’t finished as his towering header from Telles’ corner found the back of the net, leaving the Spurs defence with questions to ask.
The match finished 3-2 to United and the result took Ralf Rangnick’s side up into the top four above Arsenal, while Antonio Conte’s Spurs are now five points behind them with two games in hand.
Tottenham did well for much of the game, twice equalising thanks to Harry Kane’s penalty and, in the second half, through Harry Maguire’s own goal, but Ronaldo was the difference.
“He (Ronaldo) made the difference for sure with his three goals but not only with his three goals, I think that was his best performance since I arrived, on and off the ball,” Manchester United interim coach Ralf Rangnick said.
“I think the whole team showed the reaction expected after a poor second half at the Etihad. I think coming back after two equalisers also showed the mentality of the team today.”
Manchester United will face Atletico Madrid in Ild Trafford action on March 15th for the second leg of their last-16 tie. Tottenham will play Brighton in the Premier League on March 16th.
Premier League results
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Liverpool
Brentford 2-0 Burnley
Manchester United 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Chidi Nwoke/Premier League/Manchester United.