Bruno Fernandes debunks Cristiano Ronaldo theory in spectacular fashion in Newcastle win
After a dismal Euro 2020 campaign for Bruno Fernandes, the one fear surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo's remarkable return to Manchester United was whether the pair could bring the best out of each other at club level - those fears were laid to rest on Saturday afternoon.
Man Utd swept Newcastle aside in relatively comfortable fashion, courtesy of two goals from the man of the moment in Ronaldo and a third from Fernandes late on to confirm the three points, Jesse Lingard's fourth the icing on the cake.
Old Trafford erupted just before the interval after the moment everyone had been waiting for finally arrived - four-time Ballon D’or winner Ronaldo notching his trademark goal 45 minutes into his triumphant return, proudly donning the famous number seven shirt once again.
The Portuguese icon lashed home from close range, before sprinting to the corner flag to perform his iconic "SIUUUUUU" celebration.
Newcastle briefly caused panic after they equalised courtesy of Javier Manquillo ten minutes into the second half as they threatened to scupper the story of the day.
The level scores would last just six minutes, before Ronaldo added his second, taking Luke Shaw's pass in his stride while fending off Newcastle's Isaac Hayden before fiercely placing his finish between the legs of Newcastle shot-stopper Freddie Woodman.
Newcastle continued to show promising signs going forward, but Fernandes' wonder-strike from outside the box ensured United's place at the top of the Premier League.
Lingard added a fourth late on, but the headlines very much belong to Ronaldo, whose brace after game one of chapter two at United has left the Old Trafford daydreaming about where they can finish this season.
The Red Devils have been without a trophy of any kind since 2017, while their last league title dates back as far as 2013 - Sir Alex Ferguson's final season at the helm.
Ronaldo had already thrown down the gauntlet prior to his second debut, assuring fans he has returned to win.
Speaking to MUTV, the 36-year-old said: "This is why I am here, I am not on vacation, winning before was good but I am here to win. I am capable. I am ready to go."
Will Ronaldo and Fernandes work alongside each other? Have your say here.
After the game, boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was quick to praise the pair, before remaining coy on his hopes for the rest of the season.
"Good players can always play together. They have a mutual respect and play for Portugal together", Solskjaer explained. "It’s too early for me to predict where we’ll end up. We have to be consistent and let’s see where we are."
"It’s changed [the atmosphere]. A few months back you think how it was here. This is what Man Utd supporters should feel like."
Though the sample size is small, the early signs are promising as the pair look to inspire United to a title this season.