Cristiano Ronaldo scored another Premier League hat-trick for the Red Devils on Saturday
The talismanic No.7 struck a powerful free-kick deep into the second half to round off his hat-trick and seal all three points for the Red Devils. It was the 60th treble of his career and second in a row at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo has now racked up 21 goals in all competitions this season. His hat-trick-clinching goal garnered plenty of plaudits as he hit the ball with tremendous power and accuracy.
Mata, who came off the bench, appeared to stand over the free-kick before the Portuguese ace eventually took the shot.
After the game, he took to Twitter to jokingly say that he gave Ronaldo permission to have a go at it.
It was Ronaldo’s first club goal from a direct free-kick since July 2020, when he netted one in Juventus colors against Torino in Serie A.
For United, it was Ronaldo’s first goal from a direct free-kick since May 2009, when he struck against Manchester City in a league derby.
Ronaldo is now tied with Lionel Messi for 58 free-kick goals each, the most among all the active players.
Manchester United receive UEFA Champions League boost
Manchester United have a tough run of fixtures in the next few weeks
Manchester United didn’t put in their best performance on Saturday. However, they secured all three points on a day when both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur lost.
After dropping points consecutively against Leicester City and Everton, this victory has provided some much-needed boost in their Champions League push.
The Red Devils are now fifth in the league table with 54 points, level on points with the sixth-placed Gunners, albeit having played one game more. They are only three points behind fourth-placed Spurs.
They still have six more games to play. Given the intense competition for fourth place, they can ill afford to lose ground any further.
However, against Liverpool, Arsenal, Brentford, and Chelsea, Ralf Rangnick’s side can expect to be put through the wringer.
It will be interesting to see if Manchester United finish inside the Premier League’s top four at the end of the season.