HE MAY now be the wise old head guiding the young guns but Cristiano Ronaldo showed he is ready to do just that after his successful comeback.
But the returning Manchester United legend also proved he is not just back to help the new generation, he is ready to bring silverware to Old Trafford.
At 36 years and 218 days old, the Portuguese superstar became the oldest player to score for the Red Devils in the Premier League since Ryan Giggs (39 years 86 days) as he marked his comeback with a brace.
Ronaldo grabbed a typical No9’s goal with a simple tap-in from three yards out in first half stoppage time for the opener.
However, his second was a beauty as he explosively raced onto Luke Shaw’s throughball and held off a defender before rifling it straight between keeper Freddie Woodman’s legs.
It was smiles all-around as the Stretford End sang his name after the 4-1 win over Newcastle – but there was one moment when Ronaldo let one of his team-mates know exactly what he expects.
With the score still goalless, the ball was out on the left at the feet of Jadon Sancho.
Ronaldo suddenly pulled back away from his marker and found himself with at least five yards of space.
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But Sancho dilly dallied and his cross was easily cut out – leading to the frustrated veteran to shake his finger up in the sky in a clear message to the England ace he wants quicker and better service.
We have all been warned that Ronaldo is no longer the swash-buckling wideman who lit up the THeatre of Dreams in the past.
And there is no doubting that now he is much more direct as the focal point of the attack.
However, whether it was the adrenaline of being back at United or the crowd’s adulation, his movement was just as incredible as his goalscoring record this afternoon.
He was out on the left, out on the right, and he tormented Jamaal Lascelles and Co. all afternoon.
And if he is managed properly by Solskjaer and not flogged to high heaven, he has shown already that he can be THE difference between United being also-rans and winners.
The only worry for the United boss remains his defensive midfield.
Nemanja Matic did OK in the anchor role but looked tired in the second half – but now with Ronaldo on-board we know that OK is no longer good enough.
Newcastle looked very dangerous on the counter, and with Donny van de Beek still yet to prove he is the answer, it’s a position that United really do need to strengthen in.
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