Prolific goal poacher, Cristiano Ronaldo, sets another goal-scoring record with a hat-trick to keep Manchester United‘s chances of playing in the Champions League next season alive with a 3-2 win over Tottenham on Saturday.
Ronaldo had scored just once in his previous 10 games, but three fantastic finishes took him clear as the highest scorer in professional men’s football history according to FIFA’s records with 807 goals for club and country.
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The victory lifts Manchester United back into fourth, with just two points ahead of Arsenal who have four games in hand.
A fifth defeat in eight league games is another blow to Tottenham’s hopes of a top-four finish as they remain seventh, now five points behind United.
Ronaldo’s second spell at Old Trafford has so far proven to be an anti-climax with his poor form sparking debate over whether the 37-year-old’s powers are waning.
Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner missed Manchester United’s thrashing in the Manchester derby last weekend and was criticised for a perceived lack of commitment as he jetted off to Portugal to rehab a hip injury rather than watch his teammates lost 4-1 at the Etihad.
Ronaldo was restored to Ralf Rangnick’s starting line-up as one of five changes from that damaging defeat with Bruno Fernandes the notable absentee due to illness.
It took just 12 minutes for Ronaldo to make his mark with a stunning strike into the top corner from outside the box.
However, United failed to build on the early goal and were instead forced back in a familiar pattern to previous home games this season against stronger opposition.