Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives verdict on Cristiano Ronaldo performance

By Samuel Luckhurst

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer never doubted Cristiano Ronaldo would have an immediate impact on his Manchester United homecoming.

Ronaldo scored twice - including the winning goal - in the 4-1 victory over Newcastle to crown a memorable second debut at Old Trafford.

United have won three and drawn one of their first four Premier League fixtures and sit top of the table with Ronaldo back at the club.

"I don't think so," Solskjaer said when asked if he had any doubts about Ronaldo's effectiveness. "He does what he does. Cristiano lifts everyone, gets everyone so focused when he's around the place, he puts demands on himself which puts demands on his teammates and demands on us, and that's why he's done so much in his career, he's been so disciplined.

"He's evolved, he's a developed as a player, he's a different type of player to when he left but he's still a ruthless and clinical goalscorer, and he smells the big moments. He scents when there's a goal."

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Ronaldo had to give a speech to his new teammates - an introductory address that is obligatory for all new arrivals - at the team hotel on Friday night but Solskjaer refused to divulge details of what the 36-year-old said.

"Of course, everyone when they come into the team they have to introduce themselves, so maybe not everyone knows his name," Solskjaer joked. "At least they do now.

"The atmosphere around the club has been electric, the supporters have really enjoyed the last 10 days or so since he signed and there are loads of expectations on the team today and he's delivered.

"He said his name is Cristiano, that's as much as I can say. I didn't want to take him off unless he wanted to come off. He needs minutes, he's had a little pre-season, he's lost a few games for Juventus and Portugal, so we just needed to get 90 minutes into him."


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