Manchester United were powered to a 4-1 win over Newcastle in the Premier League thanks to two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo on his second debut for the club.
Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard also scored goals of the highest quality, ensuring an earlier striker from Javier Manquillo proved to be no more than consolation for Newcastle.
Old Trafford was bouncing for the return of Ronaldo, 12 years after he bade farewell to the club that made him in order to join Real Madrid.
The hosts dominated the first half in terms of possession, although clear-cut chances for Ronaldo or his teammates were hard to come by as the Magpies defended deep and resolutely. The breakthrough eventually came in first-half stoppage time when Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman failed to gather a deflected shot and Ronaldo gratefully tapped in the rebound.
Yet Newcastle weren’t out of the game and had posed a threat even at 0-0. The pace of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin on the break gave them opportunities of their own and it was that which gave the visitors an equaliser through Javier Manquillo.
But Ronaldo scored his second to put Manchester United back in front soon afterwards, before a sumptuous curling effort from distance by Fernandes extended the lead. At that stage it was clear that Newcastle were starting to tire after a massive effort to be in the game.
Lingard rounded off the scoring, making it 4-1 late on, finishing a well-worked team goal.
David de Gea (GK) – 6/10 – Did what was asked of him, including a good save to deny Joelinton.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) – 5/10 – Had several opportunities to cross in good positions early on and wasted them. Still the part of his game that lags behind.
Raphael Varane (CB) 6/10: Home debut for the Frenchman. Generally stayed in control but had little chance to prevent the equaliser.
Harry Maguire (CB) 6/10: Almiron was faster to the ball when Newcastle equalised and it left Varane on an island behind him. Otherwise strong and calming.
Luke Shaw (LB) 7/10: His driving run forward with the ball created the go-ahead goal, directly feeding it into Ronaldo’s path for the assist.
Paul Pogba (CM) 7/10: Generally looks more comfortable and at ease playing further forward than he did here but still registered another assist, as well as helping create the fourth.
Nemanja Matic (CM) 6/10: Sat deep at the base of the midfield.
Bruno Fernandes (AM) 8/10: Linked up well with compatriot Ronaldo in the first half in particular and was rewarded for his efforts with a fine goal of his own from distance.
Mason Greenwood (RW) 7/10: Had plenty of involvement in many of his team’s best attacking moves, including the shot that gave Ronaldo his first.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) 8/10: It didn’t need to be spectacular but he gave United the lead in first-half stoppage time and the crowd loved it. His second more of a Ronaldo classic, finding space between the centre-backs and clinically finishing.
Jadon Sancho (LW) 5/10: In and out of the game and is yet to catch fire in a United shirt. He won’t need telling that.
Jesse Lingard (RW) 7/10: Looked sharp like a player fighting for a chance and his goal late on was of the highest quality.
Donny van de Beek (AM) 6/10: Involved in the move for the fourth goal.
Anthony Martial (LW) 6/10: Also involved in the fourth, dummying for Lingard.
Freddie Woodman (GK) 4/10: Will feel he could have done better when he spilled the ball that allowed Ronaldo to score. Beaten between his legs when Ronaldo scored again.
Javier Manquillo (RWB) 6/10: Showed excellent composure to finish and get Newcastle back on terms, but perhaps guilty of poor positioning when the hosts re-took the lead.
Isaac Hayden (CB) 5/10: Didn’t get close to Ronaldo when the Portuguese made it 2-1.
Jamaal Lascelles (CB) 6/10: Headed plenty away in the first half in particular. Cleared one shot just in front of the goal-line that looked like it was going in.
Ciaran Clark (CB) 6/10: Did well to stay close to Lascelles and narrow the channels on that side of the central defensive trio. Also got his head to a lot of balls into the box.
Matt Ritchie (LWB) 6/10: Not given as much defensive protection by teammates in front of him as Manquillo enjoyed on the other side.
Miguel Almiron (CM) 7/10: Carried the ball well on the break and it was his running that directly contributed to the equaliser.
Joe Willock (CM) 5/10: Missed a half-chance to score an unlikely Newcastle opener. A willing runner but found it hard to make an impact on the game in general.
Sean Longstaff (CM) 5/10: Tried to play a containing game as best he could but was closest to Fernandes when the third goal went in and should have closed down the shot. By then he looked tired.
Joelinton (ST) 6/10: Lacked the positional awareness to make his presence count when Newcastle had the ball in good attacking positions. Did create one good chance for himself that needed saving.
Allan Saint-Maximin (ST) 7/10: Was clear from early on that his pace on the counter was going to be Newcastle’s best attacking weapon and he made excellent use of it.
Jacob Murphy (RWB) 5/10: Tasked with adding more in attack as a swap for Manquillo but it was an uphill battle.
Jeff Hendrick (CM) N/A
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