PREMIER LEAGUE

Cristiano Ronaldo nets brace in dream return to Old Trafford

Cristiano Ronaldo netted the opening two goals in Manchester United's 4-1 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford.

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Cristiano Ronaldo nets brace in dream return to Old Trafford
OLI SCARFF AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo had a dream return to Old Trafford on Saturday, netting a brace in Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Newcastle United, which puts the Red Devils top of the Premier League table with three wins and one draw from their opening four games.

With fans singing his name since well before kick off, the carnival atmosphere at Old Trafford intensified when Ronaldo opened the scoring in added time in the first half after a tense 40 minutes. Channeling his predatory instinct, he capitalized on Freddie Woodman’s spillage from a Mason Greenwood shot, tapping in from two yards to send the Old Trafford crowd into elation.

Newcastle equalized in the 56th minute when Javier Manquillo finished off a well-worked counter attack. But the stalemate didn’t last long, as Luke Shaw released Ronaldo on the break, and the Portuguese superstar finished sharply, sending the ball through Woodman’s legs in the 62nd minute and into the back of the net to give United a 2-1 lead.

United sailed to 4-1 victory

Ronaldo’s compatriot, Bruno Fernandez made it 3-1 with a trademark rocket into the top left corner from well outside the box on 80’, before replacement Jesse Lingard put the final nail in the coffin in injury time, finishing off a superb team goal with fellow substitute Anthony Martial’s clever dummy opening the shooting opportunity for the England international.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Bruno Fernandes after scoring their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford.

There was understandably huge hype surrounding Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United, and the Portuguese striker, who played out the whole game, more than lived up to it with his two goals at the Theatre of Dreams.

Next up for the Red Devils is Young Boys on Tuesday, where the 36-year-old striker will be looking to add more goals in his first Champions League game for United since the 2009 final defeat to Barcelona.