September 28, 2022

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Ronaldo to the rescue as his hat-trick sinks Norwich

2 min read

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 50th club career hat-trick dug Manchester United out of a hole against lowly Norwich City as the under-par Red Devils won 3-2 at Old Trafford.

The 37-year-old’s treble was his second in his past three Premier League appearances and took him to 21 goals for the season, going through the 20 barrier for a 16th consecutive campaign.

Ronaldo moved to 99 Premier League goals in his career, and United could only thank him for sparing them a potentially embarrassing afternoon.

He put United two up early on, but Norwich hit back through Kieran Dowell and Teemu Pukki, only for former Real Madrid and Juventus star Ronaldo to lash a free-kick winner through the grasp of Tim Krul in the 76th minute.

David de Gea sprinted from his line to expertly block Pukki’s attempted dink over the goalkeeper in the third minute, and Norwich would soon regret failing to take that golden chance.

Ronaldo saw a fizzing 20-yard shot saved by Krul in the seventh minute, but seconds later the United man did better, with Anthony Elanga dispossessing Ben Gibson in the penalty area and squaring for an easy close-range finish.

United kept pressing against opponents who at that point appeared ripe to be picked off, and Ronaldo got their second in the 32nd minute when he headed a corner from the right by Alex Telles past Krul.

Norwich surprisingly got one back in first-half stoppage time when Pukki’s cross from the left was nodded in at the far post by an unmarked Dowell.

Incredibly, having been outplayed for so long, Norwich got level after 52 minutes when Pukki tucked past De Gea after Dowell played him in and the striker stayed just onside.

United lacked coherence in attack and were out of sorts throughout, with De Gea having to save well from Milot Rashica to keep the hosts on level terms, but then up stepped Ronaldo from 25 yards to save the day.

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