Michael Carricks's reign as Manchester United's interim manager got off to a perfect start with a morale boosting 2-0 victory away at Villareal. However, it was not an easy 90 minutes at El Madrigal. Manchester United were dominated by their hosts from the first blast of the whistle up to about the hour mark. However, like he as done so often before, Cristiano Ronaldo stood up and sealed the victory for the Red Devils.
The goal may have come under fortuitous circumstances, with a mistake by Etienne Capoue gifting the ball to Ronaldo to dink over the keeper. However, the fact remains that Manchester United have relied largely on Ronaldo's goals inorder to sail past the group stages of the Champions League.
Without Cristiano Ronaldo's goals, Manchester United would be languishing at last place in their Champions League group with 2 points. However, 5 of Ronaldo's 6 goals have won Manchester United an extra 8 points, enabling them to qualify to the next round of the Champions League with a game to spare.
That is an incredible statistic that highlights Ronaldo's importance in the biggest of occasions. When the team is in dire need, he steps up and delivers. Of all of Manchester United three wins in the Champions League this far, Ronaldo has scored all the 3 winning goals. And when they salvaged a 2-2 draw against Atalanta in Italy three weeks ago, he was the one that scored the equalising goal right at the dying minute.
Manchester United have the veteran striker to thank for their run in the Champions League because without him, they would be staring an embarrassing group stage exit in the face.
What is your take on this? How important is Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United? Drop your comments in the comments section below.
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