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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates their side’s victory after their UEFA Champions League group F match against Villarreal CF at Old Trafford on September 29, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo : Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Cristiano Ronaldo showed once again his flair for the dramatic, scoring the match-winner deep into the second half stoppage time to give Manchester United a 2-1 victory over Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday. It wasn’t a great night, though, for Chelsea and Barcelona as they picked up critical defeats on Matchday 2.
It was a huge goal for Ronaldo and the Red Devils, who looked set to be headed for a third straight game without a victory. However, Ronaldo’s 95th-minute goal breathed new life to Manchester United’s Champions League campaign, with the Red Devils now tied with Young Boys for second place in Group F.
Ronaldo breaks records in historic win
It was a historic night for Ronaldo, who broke several Champions League records in the win against Villarreal. On a day when the Portuguese star set the record for most appearances in the Champions League (178), Ronaldo also moved level with Sergio Aguero when it comes to late winners in this competition. They had three match-winning goals after the 90th minute.
🗣 Cristiano Ronaldo: “This is why I came back, I missed this club a lot. I made history in this club, and I want to do it again.” [@btsportfootball]
— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) September 29, 2021
Ronaldo has fared well in Europe’s premier club football competition, lifting the Champions League trophy five times in his storied career. Since returning to United in August, he has been in scintillating form, already scoring five goals this campaign, including twice in the Champions League.
Related Article: Lionel Messi Opens Goal Account For PSG in Champions League Win Over Manchester City
Losing woes worsen for Barcelona and Chelsea
Pressure is mounting on Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman after the Catalan giants suffered another heavy defeat in the Champions League on Wednesday. Barca returned to the scene of one of their worst losses ever and absorbed another devastating setback, losing 3-0 to Benfica at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon.
Barcelona lost 8-2 to Bayern Munich on this same pitch in the 2019-20 Champions League quarterfinals. It appears Barcelona won’t even reach that stage of the competition this season, with the Spanish side sitting at the bottom of the standings in Group E with no points and no goals through their first two games.
Wednesday’s defeat was Barcelona’s second straight loss by a three-goal margin in this year’s Champions League group stage. They lost to Bayern by the same scoreline a couple of weeks ago. They are now six points behind leaders Bayern and four points adrift of Benfica.
Another team that has been on a losing rut lately is Chelsea. The Blues suffered their second straight loss on Wednesday against Italian powerhouse Juventus. Federico Cheisa scored the lone goal in the 46th minute to send Juve to the group’s top.
It was a disappointing display by the Blues, who also lost 1-0 to Manchester City just days earlier in the Premier League. They are now tied for second in Group H with Zenit after two games, with both teams having three points apiece.
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