Cristiano Ronaldo scored a sensational hat-trick as Manchester United returned to the Premier League top-four after beating Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 at Old Trafford. Ronaldo took his goal tally to 807 in professional football, an all-time FIFA record.
Ralf Rangnick would’ve been looking for a response after a drubbing in the Manchester derby, and the returning Ronaldo gave him just that. The Portuguese forward was played into space after a glorious flick from Fred, allowing him to unleash a rocket from 25 yards into the top corner.
Tottenham will be sick of the sight of United’s number seven, as he’s now netted against them in seven consecutive Premier League meetings.
Spurs responded well to going behind, and had the ball in the net themselves just six minutes later, but Ben Davies was offside before he slotted past David De Gea.
Eric Dier saw a header cleared off the line by Diogo Dalot but Antonio Conte’s men would equalise just beyond the half-hour mark. Alex Telles handled a Dejan Kulusevski cross inside the box, allowing Harry Kane to step up and convert a 19th consecutive successful spot-kick in Tottenham colours.
Not to be upstaged, Ronaldo stepped up once more. Nemanja Matić’s lofted ball completely unlocked the visitors’ defence as he found Jadon Sancho, allowing the winger the freedom to square and find Ronaldo for a tap-in.
The visitors remained the team with more impetus after the resumption, but they were struggling to test De Gea’s resolve. Son Heung-min spurned a big chance on the hour mark, as he slotted wide from inside the area. That pressure eventually told, as Sergio Reguilón’s cross was inadvertently turned into his own net by Harry Maguire.
Spurs had to be on guard against another Ronaldo-inspired fightback, and Hugo Lloris was called into action to deny the striker.. Once more though, there was no stopping the inevitable force. Ronaldo rose highest from Telles’ corner to power into the top corner and score the second hat-trick of his United career, 14 years after the first.
The ‘Red Devils’ kept up their remarkable record of never losing having been ahead at the break on home turf in Premier League history. That run now spans 302 games, with United winning an outrageous 279 of them.