Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that a speech from Cristiano Ronaldo inspired him and his team-mates to victory over Newcastle.
The forward made a stunning impact upon his return to Old Trafford, scoring twice in a 4-1 win on Saturday. He netted just before the first-half break following earlier misses. However, he scored another in the second half, before Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard rounded off a fantastic afternoon for the hosts.
Ronaldo failed with a volley with his first chance, but he proved a menace for the Magpies throughout.
His move back to United and subsequent first appearance was much anticipated throughout the Premier League. However, Solskjaer told MUTV of how Ronaldo was also looking forward to it.
“Cristiano was looking forward to this, he had a little speech to the boys last night,” the manager said. “It’s perfect for him coming in, we see what he’s about. He’s about sensing the moment, sensing the danger.
“He’s also evolved into a proper team player. You’ve got to be there to score the goals and he knows where the goals are scored.
“There’s not many in the world who have scored more than him, so very pleased.
“But I’m pleased with the whole team and their work rate, we were patient.”
Man Utd may have taken the lead, but Newcastle put in a strong performance. They had good chances to score in the first half and in fact equalised 11 minutes into the second half.
After Ronaldo’s goal, Fernandes’ long-range strike was accurate into the top left corner, before substitute Lingard netted deep into stoppage time.
“When it goes back to one each, you never know how it’s going to go,” Solskjaer said. “I thought we played well, played the ball and then of course when Luke put on the afterburner and Cristiano of course, he smells the danger. He’s so good at timing his runs.”
“You know Bruno, Bruno’s quality from those areas. Very, very happy.”
Solskjaer happy with Man Utd squd
As well as Lingard, Donny van de Beek – another midfielder trying to prove himself at United – came on in the second half.
“Yeah, I’ve got to say well done to the club who are bringing in players to challenge and we’re bringing competitors,” Solskjaer said of his depth.
“But it’s good people and we’ve built a really strong squad.”
United return to action on Tuesday, facing Young Boys in their first Champions League group stage match of the season.
“This is what it’s about being at Man Utd. Every three or four days you play a game, a game that matters,” Solskjaer added.