Champions League: Manchester United qualify for the knockout stages
Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho helped Manchester United beat Villarreal 2-0 on matchday five. David de Gea kept United in the match with a few brilliant saves. Villarreal, who dominated possession, were undone at the back as Ronaldo showed great composure to score before Sancho netted his debut United goal. The visitors have qualified for the knockout stages with 10 points in Group F.
Why does it matter?
- United have faced a turbulent time in the Premier League, claiming just four points from the last seven games.
- They also saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer get sacked after Sunday's defeat against Watford.
- This was the perfect response as they hung on and answered the questions with two late goals.
- Ronaldo was once again United's hero as he delivered at a crucial juncture.
How did the match pan out?
United were cautious in the first half and let Villarreal dominate possession. The hosts had the better chances but United hung on. In the second half, De Gea produced a blinder to deny Manu Trigueros. Ronaldo's calm finish helped United take the lead in the 78th minute. The visitors applied more pressure as Bruno Fernandes set up Sancho for the second.
Ronaldo races to 140 UCL goals
Ronaldo has raced to 140 Champions League goals. The veteran forward has netted in all five group matches this season (6 goals). Ronaldo has netted 10 goals this season for United in all competitions. For the 17th successive season, he has netted 10-plus goals in a season at club level.
Six UCL goals this season for CR7
Ronaldo scripts these UCL records
It was the third time Ronaldo has scored a match-winning goal in the final 15 minutes of a Champions League match this season - the most by a player in a single season in the competition (excluding extra-time). He is the first player to score in each of an English club's first five matches of a single European Cup/Champions League season (excluding qualifiers).
Bruno Fernandes registers this record
Bruno Fernandes registered his fifth assist of the season in the Champions League (highest). He has also created 13 chances so far in five matches (highest). As per Squawka Football, Fernandes is the first player to provide an assist in the opening five UCL games of a single campaign for an English club.