CRISTIANO RONALDO’S late winner saw Manchester United snatch a dramatic 2-1 win over Villarreal in the Champions League at Old Trafford.
David De Gea played out of his skin and kept United in it but full-back Diogo Dalot looked well out of his depth as he stood in for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Paco Alcacer finally got the goal the visitors deserved – stabbing an Arnaut Danjuma cross home at the near post barely ten minutes after half-time.
But Alex Telles scored a Paul Scholes-esque volley from outside the box on the hour mark to make it 1-1.
United were better after the equaliser and looked like they wouldn’t make the pressure count.
Edinson Cavani missed a late sitter before De Gea came to the rescue again with a peach of a double save.
But Ronaldo popped up at the back post with mere seconds left and here’s what SunSport’s William Pugh thought of the Red Devils’ individual performances.
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DAVID DE GEA – 9/10
Phenomenal one handed save on nine minutes from former Bournemouth man Danjuma.
Superb reflexes seven minutes later to tip an Alcacer header over the bar.
Couldn’t do anything with Villarreal’s goal. Capped of an excellent night with a an awkward point-saving double stop in the closing stages.
Cristiano Ronaldo and his United team-mates mobbed De Gea at full time to show their appreciation.
DIOGO DALOT – 3
Struggled with Danjuma’s pace and trickery down Villarreal’s left.
Looked well out of his depth. Failed to cut out Danjuma’s cross which Alcacer finished to open the scoring.
VICTOR LINDELOF – 5
Let Alcacer get away from him for the opener.
The difference in quality between him and United’s main centre-backs Harry Maguire and Varane was laid bare for all to see.
RAPHAEL VARANE – 6
Huge mistake to let Alcacer in toward the end of the first-half.
But slid on to make a vital interception which likely prevented a certain goal in the same half. Some good, some bad. Nothing memorable.
ALEX TELLES (subbed 89 mins) – 7
Caught out of position on a few occasions in the first-half and was only let off by the visitors’ poor finishing.
Easily beaten and looked almost as weak as his opposite full-back Dalot.
But made most inside Old Trafford forgive all his previous misgivings with an absolute peach of a volley from outside the box on the hour mark.
Booked for a late slide challenge on Yeremi Pino with 19 minutes to go before a superb goal-saving block with 85 on the clock.
PAUL POGBA (replaced 74 mins) – 5
His presence at the base of midfield alongside McTominay affected the defensive balance in the side and the pair were too easy to slice through for Villarreal.
Stepped up his attacking efforts after the break and started to look more dangerous before being hooked.
SCOTT McTOMINAY – 5
Villarreal played through the middle too often in the first-half.
Was required to do more of the defensive work with Pogba next to him instead of Fred. Not one to remember.
MASON GREENWOOD (subbed 89 mins) – 5
Former Liverpool man Alberto Moreno had the better of him for most of the match. Tried to get on the ball but with little impact.
Booked with 23 minutes to go for a cynical tug back on Boulaye Dia.
Should have had an assist when Cavani headed his cross wide on 79 minutes.
BRUNO FERNANDES – 7
Huffed and puffed but to no avail until half-time. Looked the most likely to make something happen but nothing was clicking.
Pinged a beautifully chipped free-kick to the waiting Telles who volleyed home a belter to make it 1-1.
JADON SANCHO (replaced 74 mins) – 5
Started in a determined fashion as he tried to make something happen down the left but looked a little lightweight.
Lost his footing when he looked sure to make it 2-1 just after his side had drawn level. Hooked again.
CRISTIANO RONALDO – 7
Failed to make an impact before the break. Fluffed a big chance to play Sancho in with a first time pass.
Broke the record for Champions League appearances and may as well not have been on the pitch for most of the game.
But stole the headlines at the death after doing next to nothing all night with his 136th Champions League goal.
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EDINSON CAVANI (replaced Pogba) – 6
Missed a huge chance to put United 2-1 with 11 minutes to go.
Headed wide of an open goal after a delightful cross from Greenwood put one on a plate for him.
Full of running as he tried to make something happen late on.
JESSE LINGARD (replaced Greenwood) – 7
Had a big chance to win the game at the death but was thwarted at the near post.
Set Ronaldo up for the winner with a delicious touch.
FRED (replaced Telles) – 7
Great cross to set up the late winner.
NEMANJA MATIC (replaced Sancho) – 5
Did little of note.
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