EPL

Ronaldo 'super nervous' ahead of stunning second Man Utd debut

By Sports Desk September 11, 2021

Cristiano Ronaldo revealed he was "super nervous" ahead of his glorious second Manchester United debut against Newcastle United on Saturday.

The former Juventus forward lit up Old Trafford, opening the scoring before half-time and restoring the hosts' lead following Javier Manquillo's equaliser.

Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard added late strikes to seal a routine win for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, who have 10 points from their opening four Premier League games this season.

Aged 36 years and 218 days, Portuguese superstar Ronaldo is the oldest player to score a brace in a Premier League match since Graham Alexander for Burnley against Hull City in April 2010 (38y 182d).

His return to United after a 12-year absence looked seamless, but Ronaldo admitted he was tense about proving he could still contribute to the Red Devils' title challenge.

"I didn't expect to score two goals. I expect one but not two. I have to appreciate the fans and what they did to me today. I feel so proud for that," he told BBC Sport.

"The most important thing was to win and to win games. Manchester [United] needs to be where they deserve. It is to win, to build the team and build the club and the mentality.

"This is what we are looking for. Of course, I am happy to score goals I am not going to deny that but the most important thing is the team and the team played good.

"It is unbelievable. When I started the game I was so nervous, I swear. It is normally because I did not expect that they would sing my name all game.

"I was very nervous but maybe I didn’t show but I was. I was super nervous and was thinking last night that I wanted to play good and show I was still capable of helping the team.

"The reception is incredible but I am here to win games and help the team. This club is unbelievable and I am so proud. I am going to give everything to make them proud of me.

"Everyone knows the football in England is different than in any part of the world and to be honest it is the most special one. I arrived here at 18 and they treated me unbelievably and that is why I am back."

Ronaldo could make his second Champions League debut for United on Tuesday when they travel to Switzerland to face Young Boys. 

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    Kane appeared destined for a move to Manchester City, but that transfer did not materialise as the Premier League champions could not prise him from the north London club's clutches.

    He had five goal attempts in Sunday's 3-1 derby defeat to Arsenal but could not find a way past Aaron Ramsdale.

    "He doesn't look happy," Neville said.

    Pointing to Tottenham's 3-0 defeat to Chelsea in their previous game, Neville said: "Last week was a risk, I thought, shoving him out on the left wing. He was out on the left wing last week.

    "Today I thought he did play higher, to be fair, but the balls played up to him were just long punts in the first 20 minutes.

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    "Son and him look like they've had their balloons burst at a party as a kid. That's what it looks like."

    Neville said Spurs have "good senior pros" in their ranks, as he sought an explanation for why their form has nosedived since starting the league campaign with three straight wins.

    Rough losses to Crystal Palace, Chelsea and now Arsenal have seen them plummet from the top of the league and into mid-table.

    Nuno Espirito Santo may have a big job on his hands in turning Spurs back into a winning side, and Neville suspects some players are pining for a coach in the mould of former boss Mauricio Pochettino.

    "Those players to me look like they want a high-pressing, Pochettino-style coach that plays out from the back and gets the centre-backs on the six-yard line, rather than one that sits behind the ball and counter-attacks," former Manchester United captain Neville said on Sky Sports.

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    He has also failed to get a goal in back-to-back games against Arsenal for the first time in his Tottenham career.

    Former Spurs captain Ledley King said of his old team-mate: "He cares, but there's no doubt he's out of shape at the moment. He's out of form. He's a big part for the club so when he's not playing well we struggle."

  • Nuno takes responsibility for Tottenham capitulation in north London derby Nuno takes responsibility for Tottenham capitulation in north London derby

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    Harry Kane struggled again, though his tally of five attempts more than doubled the total amount he had managed across his other four Premier League appearances so far this season.

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