Cristiano Ronaldo had already visited this location. To be exact, one hundred and seventy-seven days before Wednesday night. Listening to the stirring Champions League anthem in the heart of pitches all around Europe. Ronaldo, on the other hand, will always hold a special place in No.178. On the night he broke the competition's all-time appearance record, he commemorated the event with a thrilling late-game victory.
When Manchester United suffered a stunning defeat in Bern two weeks ago, the 36-year-old had equaled the record established by his former Real Madrid colleague Iker Casillas, but now he's on his own, and what a way to celebrate. Casillas and other retiring greats like Xavi, Raul, and Ryan Giggs should be avoided. Lionel Messi is still 27 games ahead of him. It's characteristic of Ronaldo's rivalry with Lionel Messi that only 24 hours after Messi's first Champions League goal for PSG against Manchester City, Ronaldo was capturing headlines with his historic debut at Old Trafford — his first in Europe for United in 12 years – and the game-winning goal.
He also has a 5-4 advantage over Messi in Champions League wins and 136-121 in goals scored, two all-time records that would see him recognized as the competition's best player unless Messi can come up with something spectacular in the last years of their dazzling careers. Last night, none of it appeared to matter as United threatened to disappoint in Europe once more. It's a surprise how they weren't three or four goals behind by halftime. In the first half, Ronaldo was a minor player, with only two half-chances to his name. The first came off an Alex Telles corner in the eighth minute, when he headed over under pressure from three defenders. The second was a volley that Bruno Fernandes fluffed from a tight angle after a lob to the back post.
It was no more than the Spaniards earned when Paco Alcacer put them ahead just after half-time. Another concern for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is why United had to wait until they were down to draw the game. It was a recurring theme in their play last season, and it proved to be a costly habit. What are your thoughts on this matter? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section. Please like, share and help News.info20 reach 4 000 followers. Thank you.
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