‘When you have Cristiano you always have a chance’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hails Ronaldo’s last-minute winner for saving ‘lucky’ Manchester United against Villarreal
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Cristiano Ronaldo’s winner against Villarreal
- Ronaldo fired home a goal in the fifth minute to stoppage time to secure 2-1 win
- Manager Solskjaer also hailed David de Gea as ‘the best goalkeeper in the world’
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated a record-breaking night in the Champions League with a dramatic injury-time winner for Manchester United at Old Trafford.
On the night he made a record 178th appearance in the competition, Ronaldo also scored United’s latest ever goal in the Champions League when he sank Villarreal 2-1 in the fifth minute of injury-time.
The Spaniards had threatened to plunge United into crisis with a third home defeat in the space of a week, but Alex Telles equalised before Ronaldo got their Group F campaign back on track with his fifth goal in five games.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed Cristiano Ronaldo’s dramatic last-minute winner against Villarreal
Ronaldo scored Manchester United’s latest ever Champions League goal to secure a 2-1 win
‘When you have Cristiano on the pitch you always have a chance,’ beamed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose winner in the 1999 Champions League final had been the latest goal until Wednesday night.
‘He is so good in front of goal and has an impact on everyone – the crowd, the players the whole club.
‘He’s done that so many times. When you saw him (for Portugal) against Ireland a month ago, he missed a penalty early and didn’t touch the ball more or less, but scored two great headers in the last few minutes.
‘That’s what he’s done throughout his career. He stays in the game. I’ve seen him all day, the way he’s built up for this game and when he gets that one chance it’s a goal.
Solskjaer also praised David de Gea’s ‘fantastic’ performance that kept United in the game
‘He had a couple of half chances but a true mark of a great finisher that he keeps calm when the chance arrives.’
United, who lost their opening group game to Young Boys in Bern earlier this month, avenged their Europa League final defeat by Villarreal who were unbeaten this season and would have won but for some excellent saves from David de Gea.
‘They are very tough to beat,’ added Solskjaer. ‘They haven’t lost a game since way before the final and they played some good teams.
‘Thankfully we had the best goalkeeper in the world tonight. David was fantastic and I was very happy with his performance. In the second half they had more of the ball, it was still open and they deserved to lead but Old Trafford is magic.
‘That is what happens here at Old Trafford. It’s happened so many times before. We have to throw caution to the wind and we got lucky in the end.
Bruno Fernandes, captain for the night in Harry Maguire’s absence, paid tribute to his team
‘Sometimes it’s not about passes here or there, it is about the crowd and the Stretford End has sucked a few in before. I know that, and that is probably what happened.’
Bruno Fernandes, captain for the night in Harry Maguire’s absence, paid tribute to his team for coming back after they went behind to Paco Alcacer’s goal shortly after half-time.
‘Sometimes we need to be patient and don’t press all the time,’ said Fernandes. ‘I always had the feeling we were in the game. when they scored I felt we could turn it around.
‘After the goal from Alex, the push from the fans was incredible. There were some big saves from David (de Gea) who helped a lot to keep the score 1-1 and at the end strikers had that feeling to score. It was three amazing points.’