Cristiano Ronaldo scored the second goal for Manchester United as the Red Devils won their first game of the Europa League campaign this season by a 2-0 margin on Thursday, September 15.
Playing against FC Sheriff Tiraspol, who won their first group stage match 3-0 against Omonia, Erik ten Hag’s men dominated the proceedings. They held off the Moldovan side on their home ground.
The game started with the hosts actively seeking out chances in the final third and putting effort at goal. However, they did not have the clinical quality to open the scoring, and a defensive lapse in concentration saw Manchester United score first.
Christian Eriksen continued his quality form for the English outfit by turning provider with a brilliant pass through the middle to Jadon Sancho. The England international took two touches to open himself up on the edge of the box and powered a left-footed shot into the net to put the Red Devils ahead in the 17th minute.
A mistake from the Sheriff defense saw Patrick Kpozo trip Diogo Dalot in the penalty area with 38 minutes on the clock, and the referee pointed to the spot immediately. Cristiano Ronaldo took responsibility for the penalty, and the Portuguese superstar converted with ease, putting the ball down the middle and scoring his first goal of the season.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United see off stumbling Sheriff
While Manchester United did not score another goal, the two first-half efforts were impressive enough to seal the deal against the Moldovan powerhouse. Sheriff continued to make attempts at goal, notably having more shots than the visitors. However, their poor finishing display put them down as they only managed to put two shots on target.
The Red Devils, however, were the more clinical side, and they will be glad that the scoreline cemented their better performances. While they may have scored more goals, having enjoyed vast amounts of possession in the second half, it was not to be. Sheriff maintained a firm defense to hold them out.
Cristiano Ronaldo was eventually substituted off for Anthony Elanga in the 81st minute. However, the Portugal international will be pleased to have opened his account this campaign, following a troubling seven appearances without a goal.
The forward will hope he has a successful season at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils intent on winning the Europa League.
Here is how Twitter reacted to United’s win and Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal against the Moldovan outfit:
The win moves United to second in their group table, behind Real Sociedad.