Cristiano Ronaldo ran riot yet again, scoring a hattrick as Portugal sauntered to an emphatic 5-0 victory over Luxembourg at Estádio Algarve. The five time Balon D'or winner netted two early penalties in the first half before completing his treble in the 87th minute.
That was his tenth hattrick for Portugal which is a record for hattricks in international football history. The victory boosted Portugal's chances of making next year's FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar. They currently sit in second position in group A, a point behind Serbia but with a game in hand.
If Solskjaer has been studying Portugal matches closely, he will notice some things which coach Fernando Santos has sorted out in his side that allows Ronaldo to thrive for them. Manchester United manager has two things which he should learn from Ronaldo's performance in his country's five star display on Tuesday night.
1. Ronaldo should always be the number one penalty taker even with Bruno Fernandes in the team.
Taking penalties is one of Ronaldo's specialties and a source of many goals in his illustrious career. He displayed his penalty expertise with two goals from the spot kick in the first half of the victory against Luxembourg.
Solskjaer will need to sort out this aspect in his team by making Ronaldo the number one penalty taker, even with Bruno Fernandes on the pitch. The last time Bruno took a penalty instead of Ronaldo, he missed and cost United a crucial point against Aston Villa.
2. Ronaldo should always start and play full time no matter the opponent.
In the shock home defeat to Aston Villa, Solskjaer made a costly mistake by starting the match with Ronaldo on the bench. The Norwegian manager probably underestimated the opponent and decided to play the game without his talisman.
Portugal coach has shown that Ronaldo should always be a starter and should be allowed to play the full game if he can. Portugal were always expected to take three points from Luxembourg with or without Ronaldo, however Fernando Santos insisted on playing his star man and he led them to a comfortable victory.
Ronaldo keeps going from strength to strength even at the age of 36 years and is expected to play a huge role in any success that Manchester United achieve this season. Their next match is against Leicester City at the weekend and the veteran forward will be looking to continue his fine form in front of goal against the Foxes.
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