EPL

Keane hails 'genius' Ronaldo and hopes for Man Utd stay

By Sports Desk March 12, 2022

Manchester United great Roy Keane hailed Cristiano Ronaldo's superb display after the 37-year-old's hat-trick downed Tottenham at Old Trafford.

United were twice pegged back by their rivals for the top four during an absorbing contest, but Ronaldo's 81st-minute header sealed just his second treble in United colours and a crucial 3-2 win for the hosts.

The Portugal legend has now scored in each of his past seven appearances against Tottenham in all competitions, and his 14 goals against Spurs represent his highest tally against any English club.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the match, former United captain Keane labelled the striker a "genius" and said Ralf Rangnick's team needed to keep their talisman beyond the end of this season.

"Ronaldo looked angry today, he played with a lot of aggression," Keane said. "He's obviously upset with whatever happened last week [missing United's 4-1 loss to Manchester City], but he showed today what we have seen over the years. 

"The guy's a genius, his three goals were fantastic. He brings so much to the team, why people think he cannot bring goals or value...

"For as great as he is, the next challenge for Ronaldo is to make this United team compete again for league titles. 

"Ronaldo is a huge part of the rebuilding of the club. When he's producing like that, you need Ronaldo in your team. 

"Ronaldo has been doing this throughout his career, he's been doing it for years. I think he can do it for another season."

One-time Old Trafford team-mate Gary Neville called Ronaldo's performance "magical", but he did not hold back in his criticism of United's "awful" defensive performance, having now conceded 40 times in the Premier League this season.

"Manchester United are not very good, I have to say," Neville said. "But there are moments in the game that are magical.

"The fans are buzzing because they've seen Ronaldo, they feel like they've seen something special.

"But in terms of the performance, if Spurs get a late winner, United fans are going home and saying how bad we are today. It wasn't a great performance.

"Manchester United's biggest problem is not Cristiano Ronaldo. Their defending is awful. Every team that comes here creates bags of chances."

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