October 1, 2021 || 3:08 pm

Man Utd 2-1 Villarreal: Cristiano Ronaldo snatches dramatic late Champions League victory for United

Match report as Cris’tiano Ron’aldo breaks the r’ecord for most Cham’pions League appeara’nces (178), scoring in the ’95th minute to sec’ure Manch’ester Un’ited their first points of the campaign; Paco Al’cacer scores ear’ly in the second half’ for Villarreal, ‘but a superb Alex Telles stri’ke equali’ses

By Charlotte Ma’rsh, Foo’tball journalist.


Cristiano Rona’ldo snatched a dramatic late vict’ory for Manchester Un’ited, beating Villarreal 2-1 on’ his record-breaking 178’th Champ’ions League appearance.

There were ple’nty of eyes on United headi’ng into the fixture, with Ole Gun’nar Solskjaer’s side losing 3 of their last four games, including the Gro’up F opener against Young Boys t’wo weeks ago. They also faced the sid”e that beat them in the Europa League final four months ago.

Villarreal should have b’een out of sight in the first half, b’ut came up against an insp’ired David de Gea and were also g’uilty of some poor finishing without their u’sual target-man in ‘ Moreno.

But the visitors soo’n found the breakthrough wi’th the impressive Arnaut Danju’ma setting up Paco Alcacer for a tap-in (53). Th’e mood was starting to sa’g at Old Trafford, but Telles prod’uced a moment of magic – firin’g home with a stunning first’-touch volley – to make for an end-to’-end finish.


Ronaldo made just 46 pa’sses and did not have muc’h to work with during the gam’e, but on yet another mile’stone evening, he came up with the dra’matic winning goal with t’he last kick, poking home fro’m close range.


It gives Unit’ed their first points of the Champions League ca’mpaign, sending them 3rd behind Young Boys and early group F leaders, Atalanta. Villar’real rem’ain bottom of the table with one point.

How Ronaldo ma’de more Old Trafford memories


It was an end-to-en’d start at Old Trafford, with both sides h’aving sights of goal. Bruno Fern’andes lashed an eff’ort over the crossbar, before Ronaldo also nodded over from the first corner. It was former Bournemouth forward Danj’uma who caused the early issu’es for Villarreal, twice tes’ting De Gea, but the goalkeeper stron’gly bat’ted away both effor’ts.


De Gea was clearly look’ing to exorcise some dem’ons after his penalty miss in the Europa League final four mon’ths ago, an’d denied Alcacer soon after. Danjuma once again beat Diogo Dalot ‘too easily down the left flan’k, w’ith his cross flicked goalwa’rds by the Spain forward. But De Gea’s rea’ctive save saw him flick the ef’fort ov’er the crossbar for a cor’ner.

Player ratings

Man Utd: De Gea (8), Da’lot (5), Lindelof (6), Vara’ne (7), Telles (7), McTominay (6), Po’gba (7), Fernandes (7), Sanc’ho (6), Greenwood (7), Ron’aldo (7).

Subs used: Cav’ani (7), Matic (6), Fred (n/a), Lingard (n/a).

Villarreal: Rull’i (6), Albi’ol (6), Torres (6), Parejo (6), Capoue (7), Foyth (6), Alcacer (7), Trigu’eros (7), Danjuma (7), A Mo’reno (7), Pino (7).

Subs used: Dia (6), Estup’inan (5), Pena (5), Mandi (5), Go’mez (6).

Man of the match: David de Gea.

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