The talismanic No.7 was on fire against the Canaries
The Portuguese star struck twice inside 32 minutes to put the Red Devils 2-0 up, but the Canaries fought back to level things up.
Kieran Dowell halved the deficit in the dying seconds of the the first half before Teemu Pukki made it 2-2 shortly after the restart.
The clash was heading for a tense finale and with just 14 minutes remaining on the clock, the hosts won a free kick which Ronaldo dispatched spectacularly.
Manchester United were supposed to cruise against a side languishing at the bottom of the league standings but familiar problems came back to haunt them.
Ronaldo took just seven minutes to break the deadlock when he tapped into an empty net off a pass from Anthony Elanga.
He then doubled the lead by heading a corner from Alex Telles but as is often he case this season, the Red Devils couldn’t hold on to their lead.
Norwich were back into the game by the 52nd minute as the scores were level at 2-2, leaving Ralf Rangnick’s side in search of another goal.
With just 14 minutes to extra time, United won a free kick on the edge of the box, and Ronaldo smashed the dead ball through the Norwich wall to bring up his hat-trick.
It was his second at Old Trafford this season, having also netted thrice against Tottenham Hotspur last month, and the 60th of his career.
Fans were in awe of his free kick as Ronaldo ended an almost two-year drought to score directly from one, with this being a staggering 58th free-kick of his career.
Ronaldo now has 21 goals in all competitions for Manchester United this season, including 15 in the league. The Portuguese superstar is behind only Mohamed Salah (20) and Son Heung-min (17) in the Premier League scoring charts.
Manchester United will be counting on Cristiano Ronaldo to finish in the top four
Manchester United v Norwich City – Premier League
After dropping points in two consecutive games against Leicester City and Everton, Manchester United’s top four ambitions seemed all but over.
But after this win, coupled with Arsenal and Tottenham’s defeat, there’s renewed hope, although tougher fixtures await them in the coming days.
With Liverpool, Arsenal, Brentford and Chelsea all coming up, the Red Devils will hope to have Ronaldo fit and firing as their Champions League qualification is on the line.