Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Praises Massive Cristiano Ronaldo
After Cristiano Ronaldo’s 95th-minute strike secured a win against Villarreal, Ole Gunnar Solskjr hailed a “huge moment” for Manchester United and relieved the burden on the manager following a run of three defeats in four matches.
The win, United’s first in Group F, puts them in third place, a point behind Atalanta, although it had seemed unlikely after Unai Emery’s team took the lead through Paco Alcácer’s second-half goal. Soon after, Alex Telles equalized, and Ronaldo pounced in the final moments to delight the raucous home crowd and put an end to United’s mini-slump.
“It is a massive result for the team and the spirit of the team as well,” Solskjær said. “We gave ourselves a difficult job with the sending off in the last game [Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the defeat at Young Boys] so to get three points at home is important – now we need to get to 10 or maybe 12 to get through.”
Ronaldo was making a record-breaking 178th appearance in the competition. “He has done that so many times,” Solskjær said. “When you saw him against Ireland a [few] weeks ago [for Portugal] he missed a penalty early, didn’t touch the ball more or less, then scored two great headers in the last two minutes. That is just what he has done throughout his career, he is so strong mentally, he just stays in the game.
“That is what happens here at Old Trafford, it’s happened so many times before,” said Solskjær. “We have to throw caution to the wind and we got lucky in the end.
“I won’t sleep well because of the adrenaline but you are on to the Everton game [on Saturday] already.”