NT News

RONALDO SAVES UNITED AT THE DEATH

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OLE Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United “got lucky” after Cristiano Ronaldo marked his recordbrea­king 178th Champions League appearance with a 95th-minute winner to beat Villarreal 2-1 at Old Trafford.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had barely threatened until he fired past Geronimo Rulli for his fifth goal in as many games since returning to United.

Solskjaer’s men were staring down the barrel of another embarrassi­ng group stage exit from the Champions League after deservedly falling behind early in the second half to Paco Alcacer’s smart finish on Wednesday.

Alex Telles’ stunning strike quickly levelled, but they looked set to drop more points in Group F until Ronaldo’s late interventi­on.

“That’s what happens at Old Trafford, we had to throw caution to the wind and got lucky in the end,” said Solskjaer.

“When you’ve got Cristiano on the pitch there is always a chance.”

Ronaldo’s late show beat Solskjaer’s famous strike to win the Champions League in 1999 as United’s latest winning goal in the competitio­n.

However, for most of the 95 minutes Villarreal was the better side.

“We’re annoyed. The game was basically over, we just needed to see it out and we didn’t,” said disappoint­ed Villarreal defender Pau Torres.

“We were impeccable before that. We took the lead, were creating chance and were better than Man United at Old Trafford.”

 ?? Picture: Getty ?? Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates Manchester United’s Champions League win over Villarreal at Old Trafford.
Picture: Getty Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates Manchester United’s Champions League win over Villarreal at Old Trafford.

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