Cristiano Ronaldo was lauded by Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick after his outstanding performance against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League.
The Portugal international had gone six games without scoring, his longest goal drought for any club since 2009.
It was only a matter of time before he broke his streak. Last night, he scored with a flash of brilliance against the Seagulls.
In the 51st minute, Yves Bissouma gave Ronaldo control outside the box. The 37-year-old breezed through a few challenges before smashing the ball past Robert Sanchez and into the bottom right corner.
The incident set the road for Brighton’s demise. Lewis Dunk was given his marching orders a few minutes later after denying Anthony Elanga a clear scoring opportunity with no backup behind him.
Following that, United had numerous chances. Ronaldo was responsible for a couple of them. Sanchez pushed the Portuguese’s powerful header over the bar, while he utterly misread another headed attempt.
Fernandes ultimately scored the club’s second goal with the game’s penultimate kick, but there was some luck involved. In the first half, David de Gea made a fantastic save, while Brighton came close to equalizing twice.
Rangnick praised Ronaldo’s overall performance after the game. He regarded his performance as the greatest in recent weeks and said that it was “extremely crucial” for the club.
“Yes, that was a wonderful goal,” he told Manutd.com. Not only is it a vital objective, but it is also a fantastic one. Overall, Cristiano gave a strong performance.”
“Energically, he was constantly online, always trying to aid the other team members.” I believe that would be his best performance in the last several weeks, and it would be extremely crucial for us.”
Last night, Ronaldo might have easily won the match ball. Aside from his scoring chances, he was also a creative force, but his teammates were unable to capitalize.
In the sixth minute, the £31.5 million-rated star made a superb backheel ball for Jadon Sancho, but the England star missed his one-on-one shot straight at the goalie.
After Sanchez’s gaffe, United should have easily increased its lead in the second half. Ronaldo set the ball up for Fernandes, but he, too, was unable to get past Sanchez.
By any extension of the imagination, this was hardly a vintage United effort. Brighton dominated the first half, and their dominance appeared to be a training ground exercise at one point.
Although Bissouma’s error and dismissal altered the game’s dynamics, Brighton still produced many chances with 10 men, which should disappoint Rangnick.
Ronaldo’s return to scoring form with his first goal of 2022 is a significant plus. More crucially, the club has re-entered the Premier League’s top four, ahead of West Ham United.