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New supervisor, same performance level as Ronaldo again masks United flaws

VILLARREAL, Spain Nov 23 (Reuters) – On paper, a Manchester United victory away from residence in Europe, particularly one which sends them by to the final 16 of the Champions League, is a factor to be celebrated.

But the way of the 2-0 win in Villarreal on Tuesday evening was all too acquainted for United followers, with their crew under par for a lot of the competition, earlier than one explicit star participant bailed them out as soon as extra. learn extra

Before Cristiano Ronaldo struck within the 78th minute to interrupt residence hearts, nonetheless, United keeper David De Gea was compelled to make a number of fantastic saves to maintain Villarreal at bay.

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And it was not the primary time this season Ronaldo has come to the rescue. United might have reached the final 16 with a gaggle recreation to spare because of their win within the Estadio de la Ceramica, but it surely has been something however a easy trip.

It is the third time this season that the Portuguese ahead has scored the decisive purpose within the closing quarter-hour of a Champions League match.

His stoppage-time winner broke Villarreal hearts within the reverse fixture – a match the place De Gea was again wanted to maintain the Spanish aspect out on plentiful events – earlier than Ronaldo accomplished a 3-2 comeback victory over Atalanta with one other late winner.

Not performed there, Ronaldo then fired the pivotal final gasp equaliser in United’s final Champions League match at Atalanta – the place a loss would have left them up in opposition to it to qualify.

In each video games in opposition to Atalanta and Villarreal, United had been second finest for lengthy intervals of the match. Other poor performances had been punished, with United shedding seven of their earlier 13 in all competitions earlier than Tuesday’s journey to Spain – type which noticed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked as coach.

Michael Carrick has are available in to take short-term cost, along with his first Champions League match following the same sample as his predecessor’s.

“The game panned out as I thought. When you’ve had results we’ve had and gone through what we have, it would be very foolish to think it would be freeflowing and everything would be wonderful,” Carrick stated.

“I had a feeling it would be a tight game. I thought we’d be better after half time but it proved to be a little bit tougher at the start of the second half.

“We had gamers to alter it, and in the long run it labored out.”

Thanks to Ronaldo – and Jadon Sancho’s stoppage-time strike – it did work out for United, but it will take more than the sacking of Solskjaer to lift performance levels at the club.

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Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group F - Villarreal v Manchester United - Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal, Spain - November 23, 2021 Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts REUTERS/Pablo Morano

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group F - Villarreal v Manchester United - Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal, Spain - November 23, 2021 Manchester United interim manager Michael Carrick shakes hands with David de Gea after the match REUTERS/Pablo Morano

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group F - Villarreal v Manchester United - Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal, Spain - November 23, 2021 Manchester United interim manager Michael Carrick and David de Gea embrace after the match REUTERS/Pablo Morano

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