Cristiano Ronaldo’s conversion rate is amazing, but Man Utd could still benefit from this night off in Cyprus

It pretty much summed up Cristiano Ronaldo’s night. After forcing a great save from the Omonia goalkeeper, after watching Manchester United substitutes Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial turn the game around, and after hitting the post when it looked easier to score, the man chasing a 700the club looked for the goal of his career in 84the minute and saw another headed attempt wide of the far post.

Except it never went that far, with Rashford taking advantage of his second of the night, gratefully holding on to what counts as an assist from Ronaldo, regardless of whether he meant it or not.

A rather awkward celebration followed. Ronaldo had turned his back on him the moment Rashford waved the net, so it was the latter who ran towards the former, who couldn’t help but burst into a smile, despite how tense he was.

Whether against big rivals like Manchester City or Cypriot Cup winner Omonia, Ronaldo wants to play and he wants to score. Such opportunities eluded him on Sunday, but when he started from Thursday night, he could hardly have expected a more frustrating 90 minutes against a team that is fourth in the Cypriot First Division.

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There were eight attempts in total, to no avail, meaning Ronaldo has now recorded 33 shots for club and country this season, with just one goal – a penalty – to show for it.

However, there was still effort from Ronaldo. As well as the late assist, it was his angled run that opened the space for Rashford’s first goal, but in the business he knows best Ronaldo is falling short, and that shows particularly when the player starts games in the Premier League before him. he also becomes United’s savior in the Europa League.

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Ronaldo was not in a hurry to celebrate Rashford’s second goal on Thursday night (Photo: AFP)

Martial was also right to spare United embarrassment in Cyprus, and with a trip to Everton on Sunday, head coach Erik ten Hag could see all this as a positive, including Ronaldo’s displeasure, when it comes to having healthy competition. in front.

“He’s a great player for us, has been for a long time,” Rashford said of Martial afterward. “When he is happy and he does it, he is an incredible player. We’ve both been out injured, him longer than me, so it’s good for him to have minutes and make an impact.”

However, what may concern Ten Hag is the way they conceded goals. Four days after Manchester City scored six goals, United’s weaknesses remained on full display, with Tyrell Malacia sent off at half-time after his mistake gave Omonia a surprising opening game.

“We started well and then there was an unnecessary mistake and a really bad 10 minutes. We have to learn from that”, Ten Hag said afterwards, having replaced Jadon Sancho. “We were too static,” he added. “That’s why we made two submarines.”

United also conceded their second a minute after scoring their third, switching to give Omonia late hope, and although a scare was avoided in the end, even Neil Lennon, who apparently has a fondness for coaching teams that wear green and white hoops. he couldn’t believe his team pushed United so close ahead of their next game at Old Trafford on Thursday.

“We were lucky a lot of times, staying in the game with good goalkeepers and a lot of missed opportunities from Man Utd. I didn’t expect us to score two goals,” Lennon said.

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“It’s going to be a different game at Old Trafford, but we’ve seen them up close and we know what their weaknesses are. We will go there and give him everything we have.”

“Some of the players [have regrets]. The first two goals we were too open in the middle half, then Bruno misses the chance with the lob. There were things we could have done better with the retention of the ball. The abyss between the teams was there, but I’m delighted with two goals”.

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