Cristiano Ronaldo repeated his desire to make history with Manchester United after his stoppage-time strike helped the Red Devils sneak past Villarreal 2-1 in the Champions League.
Paco Alcacer had given Villarreal a deserved lead at Old Trafford before Alex Telles’ stunning volley preceded Ronaldo’s 95th-minute winner in front of the Stretford End on Wednesday.
With the late strike, Ronaldo became the first United player to net a 90th-minute winner in the Champions League since Marouane Fellaini in November 2018.
And Ronaldo, who surpassed former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas to become the Champions League’s outright appearance holder in his 178th match, expressed his delight at being back in Manchester.
“Everything is open and we believe we can go through [the group],” five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo – who won the Champions League with United in 2008 – told BT Sport.
“This is why I came back because I miss this club, I made history here and I want to do it again.
“I have to say thank you not only from me but from all the team for pushing the team so far this season.”
3 – No player has scored more 90th minute winning goals in Champions League history than Cristiano Ronaldo (3, level with Sergio Agüero). Talisman. pic.twitter.com/kflYqaAf80
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 29, 2021
Ronaldo became United’s second oldest scorer at home in European competition (36 years and 236 days) after Bryan Robson (36y 282d) against Galatasaray in 1993.
Ronaldo’s late heroics also ended a run of four draws against Villarreal, who suffered their first defeat in 18 games – having won 12 and drawn five of their previous matches.
The win gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United their first win in Group F following the matchday one defeat at Young Boys.
United are due to meet leaders Atalanta in their next Champions League fixture on October 20.
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