The stakes were high and so was the pressure, and it was none other than the phenomenal Portuguese who saved the day for his side.
Cristiano Ronaldo left manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in awe of himself after rescuing Manchester United against Villarreal on Wednesday night.
Manchester United went into the Villarreal game in desperate need of a win, having had lost on Champions League group stage matchday 1.
It looked like the two teams were going to settle for a draw, with the score tied at 1-1 until late into stoppage time. Alex Telles had equalized with a stunning volley seven minutes after Paco Alcacer had opened the scoring.
Ronaldo, however, refused to accept anything less than all three points as he smashed a right-footed effort into the top corner to put his side back in the race to qualify for the knockout round.
Chants of “Viva Ronaldo” resonated inside Old Trafford as the Red Devils recorded a much-needed 2-1 win after two consecutive losses.
“Seriously, he’s so good in front of goal. He has an impact on everyone – the crowd, the players, the whole club. He’s done that so many times,” Solskjaer told at his post-match press conference.
“You saw him against Ireland a month ago and he missed a penalty early, didn’t touch the ball much but scores two great headers in the last two minutes. That is just what he has done throughout his career.
“He is so strong mentally. He just stays in the game. I have seen him all day today; the way he has built himself up for this game, how focused he has been and, when he gets that one chance, it is a goal.
“He had a couple of half-decent headers in the first half that could have ended with chances but the true mark of a very, very good finisher is that he keeps calm when the chance arrives.”