Clubs

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said the Manchester United squad made Cristiano Ronaldo introduce himself at the team hotel the night before his debut against Newcastle but joked that if any of the players didn’t know him before “they do now” after he scored twice in a 4-1 win at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo spoke to the rest of the players at the Lowry Hotel on Friday before marking his return to the club with two goals as his second chapter at United began with a comfortable victory in front of an appreciative crowd.

“Everyone when they come into the team they have to introduce themselves, maybe not everyone knows his name — they do now,” Solskjaer joked in his postmatch news conference.

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“The atmosphere around the club has been electric. The supporters have enjoyed the last 10 days. There was loads of expectation on the team today and he’s delivered.”

Ronaldo started as United’s central striker with Mason Greenwood on the right and Jadon Sancho on the left.

His first goal was a tap in after Freddie Woodman had fumbled Greenwood’s shot while his second followed a burst of pace through the middle to get on the end of Luke Shaw‘s pass.

Bruno Fernandes made it 3-1 with a stunning strike from outside the box before Jesse Lingard came off the bench to complete the scoring with a tidy finish.

“[Cristiano] lifts everyone,” Solskajer said. “He gets everyone so focused around the place, puts demands on himself which puts demands on his teammates and demands on us and that’s why he’s done so much in his career.

“He has evolved, he is a different type of player to when he left but he is still a ruthless and clinical goalscorer.

“He has developed into a miles better footballer than when he was here through the years. You are not going to use him as a battering ram. He likes to roam.

“He senses the big moments, when to arrive in the box and I thought he played the game very, very mature. He was very efficient with his football.”

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