Ronaldo winner overshadows shocker for Man Utd star


Cristiano Ronaldo’s last-minute strike earned Manchester United a 2-1 Champions League win over Villarreal, but one Red Devil stood out for the wrong reasons.

Villarreal dominated the first half and should have been ahead with the chances they had.

They did take the lead after 53 minutes through Paco Alcacer, before Alex Telles equalised with a sweet strike.

From there, it was all Man Utd pressure. Despite several chances, the pressure eventually told. Indeed, Ronaldo – who was making a record-breaking 178th Champions League appearance – capped it with a last-minute winner.

Still, Ronaldo’s winner overshadowed a tough evening for stand-in right-back Diogo Dalot.

Man Utd

David de Gea: Made four fantastic first-half saves, including a stretch to his left-hand side. Not much he could do for the opening goal from close range and didn’t have to do too much after that, aside from another save late on. 8/10.

Diogo Dalot: Endured a tough first half against Arnaut Danjuma, losing more battles with the winger than he won before a misplaced pass. Ended the half well by defending a counter-attack, but should have done better with the opening goal. Delivered a nice cross for an Edinson Cavani chance. 4.

Raphael Varane: Some good passes and tackles, before a lapse in concentration allowed Alcacer in. Barely featured in the second half, bar a crucial block at the end. 6.

Victor Lindelof: Quieter than Varane in defence, but his positioning was sometimes questionable. Played a few nice balls over the top, but was not needed much in the second half. 5.

Telles impresses

Alex Telles: The quietest of Man Utd‘s defenders in the first half, but made one or two interceptions. Could have done better for Villarreal’s opener, but made his mark with a fantastic equaliser before blocking a Boulaye Dia effort late on. 8.

Paul Pogba: Played in an advanced role from the start, but his best first-half contribution was a long-range shot straight at Geronimo Rulli. Continued to cause problems for Villarreal as Man Utd asserted their dominance. 7.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba

Scott McTominay: Acted as a good sweeper in the sitting role, as well as playing some nice forward passes. Struck a nice volley late on. 6.

Mason Greenwood: Started on the right, but had some success switching flanks with Jadon Sancho. Impressed with some good runs and a nice cross in the second half. 6.

Bruno Fernandes: Involved in a few first-half chances, but no major influence. Much livelier in the first half, shooting wide from long range after 55 minutes. 7.

Jadon Sancho: Lively in the first half, running and beating defenders after taking the safe option early on in the game. Contributed to some second-half United chances. 6.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Quiet in the first 45 with few chances or contributions. Didn’t add much to United going forward in the second half – until he popped up in trademark style to win it. 9.

Substitutes:

Nemanja Matic (on for Sancho, 75): Some good play to keep United ticking over before they found their winner. 5.

Edinson Cavani (on for Pogba, 75): Had a fantastic chance to make it 2-1 with a header, but fluffed his lines. 6.

Jesse Lingard (on for Greenwood, 90): Got the all-important flick-on for Ronaldo’s winner – a crucial intervention. 9.

Fred (on for Telles, 90): N/A.


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Villarreal

Geronimo Rulli: Quiet in the first half, despite United having some chances. Made an important save from Greenwood in the second half. 5/10.

Juan Foyth: Struggled at times against Sancho, but made some important blocks in his penalty area. Settled in the second half, despite United pressure. 6.

Raul Albiol: Like Foyth, stoic in defence in the first half including a header clear from a good ball over the top. Did well in the second half before he came off. 7.

Torres does well despite defeat

Pau Torres: Stood out for his calm passing, but showed his passing going forward too to set up a first-half chance. 49 – good shielding against fernandes. Such passing continued in the second half. 8.

Alberto Moreno: Impressive going forward, winning a foul and causing problems with overlapping runs, but almost conceded in the first half with a wild clearance. Received a yellow card for complaining to the referee. 5.

Dani Parejo: Kept his cool throughout the first half and played his part, doing so again after the break. 5.

Etienne Capoue, Raphael Varane, Manchester United v Villarreal

Etienne Capoue: Composed opening 45 minutes, controlling the tempo. His calm header back to Rulli was followed up by an interception on Dalot and pass to spring a counter-attack. 6.

Manu Trigueros: Had a mixed first 45, winning the ball on occasion but also losing it. Replaced after 61 minutes. 5.

Yeremi Pino: Lively in attack, but wasteful when it mattered, his cut-back losing possession and De Gea saving his shot. Struggled to affect the second half as United dominated. 5.

Paco Alcacer: Had a good header saved, but then had easier chances to score, firing wide before his counter-attacking pass was too long. Did well to get ahead of Man Utd’s defenders and flick his goal in. Like his fellow forwards, struggled to get into the second half too much. 5.

Arnbaut Danjuma: Villarreal’s best forward in the first half, as he ran Dalot ragged. Nice passing too, and his performance was vindicated with the assist for the opener. 7.

Substitutes:

Boulaye Dia (on for Alcacer, 58): Struggled to get into the game as United began to dominate after he came on. 4.

Pervis Estupinan (on for Trigueros, 61): Some good defensive covering at times. 5.

Aissa Mandi (on for Albiol, 73): Did just enough to put Cavani off, otherwise it may have been 2-1 after 79 minutes. 5.

Moi Gomez (on for Pino, 73): Largely faced his own goal as United dominated the second half, apart from a late run and shot which caused havoc in the United box. 5.

Ruben Pena (on for Moreno, 74): Kept busy in his 15 minutes or so on the field. 5.



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