Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United with his 701st career goal to seal a comfortable Europa League victory over Sheriff Tiraspoli at Old Trafford.
Left out of last weekend’s trip to Chelsea as punishment for refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham eight days ago, Ronaldo appeared to have no intention of scoring after manager Erik ten Hag handed him the start.
But with nine minutes to go, the great Portuguese headed a cross from Bruno Fernandes. Sheriff’s goalkeeper Maxym Koval made a low save, but as the ball came loose, Ronaldo headed home to complete United’s biggest win of the season and extend the win to seven games in all competitions.
It was a positive end to a difficult week for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
And for United, it sets up next week’s Europa League tie with Real Sociedad in Spain, when the Premier League side need to avenge their opening-day defeat to top the group and avoid a knock-out spot that could pit them against the Europeans. Heavyweights Barcelona, Juventus or Atletico Madrid.
Diogo Dalot put his side on the road to victory with Christian Eriksen’s header a minute before half-time.
Substitute Marcus Rashford headed home Luke Shaw’s left-wing cross midway through the second period.
More to follow.
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- 1by Gea
- 20sharingreplaced byShawin 63′minutes
- 6Martinezreplaced byMaguirein 45′minutesBooked in 84 minutes
- 18casemiroreplaced byMcTominayin 63′minutes
- 21Anthonyreplaced byRashfordin 45′minutes
- 8Bruno Fernandes
- 49grenachereplaced byvan de Beekin 79′minutes
- 7Cristiano Ronaldo
- 34van de Beek
- 42Guedes BorgesBooked in 64 minutes
- 2prepare yourself
- 10If I doreplaced byGligain 90+4′minutes
- 8Diopreplaced byhetmanin 79′minutes
- 17You are out of your mind
- 61AkanbiBooked in 22 minutesreplaced byRodrigues da Silva dos Santosin 79′minutes
- 80Atiemwenreplaced byBlacksmithsin 89′minutes
- 4Crespo da Silva
- 11dos Reis Pereira Vizeu Do Carmo
- 28Rodrigues da Silva dos Santos
- 33i feed
- Anastasios Sidiropoulos
The match is over, Manchester United 3, Sheriff Tiraspol 0.
Second half ends, Manchester United 3, Sheriff Tiraspol 0.
Substitute, Sheriff Tiraspol. Eugeniu Gliga instead of Cédric Badolo.
The attempt has been saved. Scott McTominay (Manchester United) header from very close range is saved in the top half of the goal. Assisted by Luke Shaw with a cross.
Corner, Manchester United. Stjepan Radeljic has scored.
Substitute, Sheriff Tiraspol. Nikita Covali replaces Iyayi Atiemwen.
An empty attempt. Donny van de Beek (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Bruno Fernandes with a cross.
Corner, Manchester United. Moussa Kyabou has scored.
Harry Maguire (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Harry Maguire (Manchester United) misses.
Iyayi Atiemwen (Sheriff Tiraspol) wins a free kick.
Goal! Manchester United 3, Sheriff Tiraspol 0. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner.
The attempt has been saved. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) header from the center of the box is saved in the center of the goal. Assisted by Bruno Fernandes with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the center of the box.
Scott McTominay (Manchester United) wins a free kick.
Foul: Moussa Kyabou (Sheriff Tiraspol)
Change, Manchester United. Donny van de Beek replaces Alejandro Garnacho.
Substitute, Sheriff Tiraspol. Pernambuco has replaced Rasheed Akanbi.
Substitute, Sheriff Tiraspol. Adrian Hatman replaces Mouhamed Diop.
An empty attempt. Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United) finishes a cross from the right wing and the ball goes into the net. Assisted by Bruno Fernandes following a corner.