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UEFA Champions League

Record-Breaking Ronaldo Sends Man Utd To UCL Last 16

Manchester United began life without Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 2-0 victory over Villarreal to secure a spot in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.

UEFA Champions League 

Result: Villarreal 0-2 Manchester United

Date: 23 November 2021

Venue: Estadio de la Cerámica

Alex Telles, Fred, Donny van de Beek and Anthony Martial came into the United side in place of Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Nemanja Matic in Michael Carrick's first game in charge.

Villarreal had the first chance of the match with five minutes gone. Scott McTominay was sloppy in possession as he relinquished possession to Gomez, who got to the edge of the box before firing his effort across goal from the left and De Gea got down smartly to palm it away.

United did not exactly look like a side brimming with confidence as they were being put on the backfoot by the hosts. A ball over the top from El Submarino Amarillo bamboozled Telles and Pino seized possession down the right before cutting it back to Manu Trigueros, whose first time shot forced De Gea into another smart save.

The Red Devils finally created something of substance on the half-hour mark when Telles delivered a peach of a cross after his initial corner came back to him and Cristiano Ronaldo rose imperiously but his header was straight at Geronimo Rulli.

On the hour mark, De Gea once again came to United's rescue. Gomez's shot from the edge of the area was blocked by Victor Lindelof and it fell into the path of Trigueros, whose shot nutmegged Harry Maguire and a momentarily unsighted De Gea got a strong hand to it to make a brilliant reflex save.

Ronaldo once again did the business when he gave United the lead in the 78th minute. Fred pressed the ball and forced a mistake from Capoue on the edge of his own box and the ball fell to Ronaldo, who lobbed the on-rushing Rulli for his fifth goal in five matches.

As a result, Ronaldo became the first player from an English side to score in five consecutive Champions League matches.

Fred was once again instrumental as United put the game to bed in the 90th minute. The Brazilian stole back possession in his own half and launched a break before Fernandes laid it off to Jadon Sancho on the right-hand side of the box and he fired into the roof of the net for the cherry on the top.

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