Cristiano: “We’re not giving up”
The Portuguese said Manchester United benefited from a “tremendous effort from everyone”, but his hat-trick was decisive against Norwich.
Cristiano Ronaldo promised Manchester United would keep “fighting until the end” for fourth place in the Premier League after his 50th career hat-trick at club level sank Norwich City at Old Trafford.
The 37-year-old put United two goals to the good early on, but the hosts were out of sorts for large parts of the game and allowed Norwich to get back on level terms by the 52nd minute.
Ronaldo completed a hat-trick in the 76th minute when his 25-yard free-kick was too hot for Tim Krul to handle, the goalkeeper only able to help the ball into the back of the net.
When international football is added to the count, Portuguese star Ronaldo has 60 hat-tricks to his name.
Amid a torrent of praise, United’s hero of the hour attempted to quash the significance of his personal milestone, putting emphasis on the significance of the win that boosts United’s hopes of playing in next season’s Champions League.
It is fourth place that is therefore the target, and defeats for Tottenham and Arsenal on Saturday have allowed United to get back into that mix.
United target top four finish
They sit fifth now, three points behind Tottenham and ahead of Arsenal on goal difference; however, United, who face title-chasing Liverpool next, have played one more match that the Gunners.
Ronaldo wrote on Instagram: “Very happy with this win and for getting us back on track in the Premier League.
“Individual achievements are only worth it when they help us reach our goals as a team, and the 60th hat-trick in my career is so much more important because it brought us the 3 points.
“Well done, lads, tremendous effort from everyone. We’re not giving up, we’re fighting until the end!”