Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal. Picture: PHIL NOBLE/REUTERS
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal. Picture: PHIL NOBLE/REUTERS

Manchester - The celebratory atmosphere at Old Trafford, as Cristiano Ronaldo marked his return to Manchester United with two goals in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United, left manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recalling the club’s best days.

Solskjaer, who played with Ronaldo towards the end of his career, said he had no hesitation in throwing the Portuguese striker straight into his side for his first game since his move from Juventus in August.

“I’m so happy for him, so happy for the team, the supporters. You can sense the atmosphere around the club since Cristiano signed but it could so easily have been an anticlimax because expectations were so high. But he has delivered again,” said the Norwegian.

Asked about the atmosphere at the ground, where fans stayed behind long after the final whistle singing Ronaldo’s name, Solskjaer could not resist the sense of nostalgia.

“It feels like the old days, to be honest. It is special. Cristiano is a special man, a special player in the history of the club and coming here he has just shown his love for the club and the supporters love him, of course,” he said.

Solskjaer added that the 36-year-old has returned after 12 years an improved all-round product.

“He’s developed into a miles better footballer than when he was here, through the years. Sometimes he can drift up to the sides, you’re not going to use him as a battering ram. He likes to roam.

“He senses the big moments, when to arrive in the box, and I thought he played the game very, very mature. He gave one ball away. But he was very efficient with his football,” he said.

Bruno Fernandes crowned the celebration with a long-range goal to make it 3-1 and Solskjaer said he had no doubt that the pair could combine well together.

“Good players can always play together. They have a mutual respect and play for Portugal together,” he said.

Reuters

 

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