It was a historic night in an ecstatic atmosphere at the Theater of Dreams – Old Trafford stadium, as Cristiano Ronaldo masterminded a spirited comeback against an energized Arsenal side, scoring his 800 and 801 career goals in the process.
The much anticipated clash got underway, with both teams trying to test each other in the initial stages. In the 16th minute, things got a bit messy for Manchester United as Arsenal player Emile Smith Rowe drove home from the edge of the area, while United keeper David de Gea was lying on the ground, seemingly injured, with his back to play, after his ankle was stood on by team-mate Fred, but with referee Martin Atkinson not blowing his whistle, the goal was awarded and Manchester United was down by a goal to nil.
At this point, United needed a saviour and a hero. The Portuguese footballing duo, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo stood up to the challenge.
United hit back the equalizer through Bruno Fernandes just before the break, before Ronaldo’s landmark goal turned the game on its head seven minutes into the second half.
In what was a topsy-turvy game, Arsenal found their own response just two minutes later through Martin Odegaard, but Ronaldo had his own plans. His 800th goal was quickly followed by 801 as Ronaldo converted from the penalty spot after Odegaard was penalised for a foul on Fred following another VAR check.
Arsenal tried to level up, but couldn’t as the referee blew his whistle, bringing the entertaining encounter to finality.
The result left United three points off fourth-placed Arsenal after recording two wins and a draw under Michael Carrick, the interim manager.
Amid all the furore, Arsenal were probably unhappy not to take anything from the game – having lost their lead just before half-time after controlling a large part of the game. By the end, they must have wondered how they ended up with nothing.
Ronaldo’s Career Goals by Numbers
CR7, as he is often called, has put up insane numbers that many footballing Greats can only dream of. The forward is recognised as the all-time top men’s goalscorer in history, and he has continued to reach significant milestones upon his return to the Red Devils.
Ronaldo has made a habit of netting in important moments this year, as he’s scored at least once in each of his five Champions League appearances, including two late winners, and scored six times in the Premier League.
Ronaldo scored the most goals at Real Madrid with 450. His two goals today means he’s now bagged 130 at Manchester United, as well as 115 with the Portugal national team, 101 with Juventus and five with Sporting CP.
The Portuguese footballing icon ensured yet another record was broken by him as he continues his pursuit to be widely recognised as the greatest player of all time (G.O.A.T).
The 36-year-old’s desire to be acknowledged by all as the greatest player to ever lace up a pair of boots is well-documented and with this feat, few could argue he hasn’t already achieved his aim.
With this kind of performance at his age, one can only conclude that, form is temporary but Ronaldo is forever.