Blythe Hastings ’23
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 49th hat-trick of his club career and became the second-oldest player in Premier League history. With 807 goals, Cristiano Ronaldo has plastered his name in the record books as professional football’s all-time leading scorer surpassing Austro-Czech Josef Bican.
Ronaldo, who scored the opener for Manchester United against Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday, found the net in the 12th minute to register his 805th career goal. Ronaldo’s strike came after Fred flicked the ball on into his path before he took a touch and then hit a curler past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, blasting into the top corner at the far post.
You could argue Eric Dier was at fault for Ronaldo’s first goal of the night, you cannot allow any player that much space to shoot from distance, let alone if that player is Cristiano Ronaldo. But as much as Spurs will analyze it and look at how poor they were defensively, you still need incredible skill and technique to be able to do what he did and find the top corner from there. The 37-year-old Portuguese striker drew level with Bican for most combined goals in a playing career.
Ronaldo added his second of the night from a Jadon Sancho pass in the 38’th minute to record his 806th goal and climb to the top of the official all-time goalscoring list. His second goal was nowhere near as spectacular but you can bet it gave him just as much satisfaction. He enjoys scoring from three yards just as much as he does from 30.
It was a causal tap-in but he was in the right place to put it away from three or four yards out because of his soccer intelligence, his positional play and his understanding of the game gets him in there. However, the Red Devils did squander the lead when Spurs hit back with two goals to level it at 2-2. United retook the lead when Ronaldo headed home from a corner in the 81st minute to complete a memorable hat-trick.
Ronaldo has now scored a hat-trick at club level in each of the last 13 calendar years. It was the 59th hat-trick of Ronaldo’s career and his first for the Old Trafford side since 2008 following his return. After beating Spurs at the Old Trafford, Manchester United has now won exactly 400 Premier League home games, becoming the first team to reach that milestone in the competition. 23 of those wins have been against Tottenham, also more than any side has beaten another at home in the Premier League.
This moves United two points above Arsenal and back into fourth place. United has a lot of work to do to get a top-four finish from here, but if they do miss out then there is no way the soccer world will blame it on Ronaldo. They would not be in a position to challenge for the Champions League places if it wasn’t for him.