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Cristiano Ronaldo Proved He's The Manchester United Captain Without An Armband Before Norwich Masterclass

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Cristiano Ronaldo Proved He's The Manchester United Captain Without An Armband Before Norwich Masterclass

Cristiano Ronaldo embraced nine Manchester United players before their 3-2 win over Norwich City - proving he's a huge figure in the dressing room.

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The five-time Ballon d'Or winner scored a hat-trick on Saturday afternoon to keep United's top four dreams alive.

Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford in the summer and despite rumours of discontent, he's one of their key players.

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His influence is unmatched and before both teams made their way onto the pitch this weekend, Ronaldo knew his experience was needed.

The 37-year-old made his way to goalkeeper David de Gea and captain Harry Maguire to exchange a few words before high-fiving Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles.

Ronaldo then approached Anthony Elanga, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba before stopping Bruno Fernandes in his path to wish him luck.

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The only player Ronaldo didn't have a chance to speak to was Jadon Sancho who was catching up with fellow Bundesliga alumni and Norwich forward Milot Rashica.

Ronaldo lead by example on the pitch and opened the scoring inside seven minutes after a mistake in the Canaries backline.

Ben Gibson dawdled on the ball in his own box and Elanga dispossessed him to put it on a plate for Ronaldo.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner doubled his tally in the 32nd minute after heading home a corner.

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Ronaldo puts United ahead. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Ronaldo puts United ahead. (Image Credit: Alamy)

Norwich did get one back just before halftime with Kieran Dowell's first Premier League goal, before Teemu Pukki's equaliser after the break.

Rashica nearly completed a sensational comeback and forced a remarkable save from de Gea.

Ronaldo would step up to score his first free-kick since July 2020 to secure all three points for the home side.

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Defeats for Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal to Brighton and Southampton respectively have given United hope in the hunt for a Champions League place.

Ralf Rangnick's side were seventh at the start of the weekend but are now fifth, just three points behind Tottenham in fourth.

United travel to Anfield to face bitter rivals Liverpool on Tuesday evening and Rangnick knows his side will need to up their game.

Ronaldo celebrates at full-time. (Image: Alamy)
Ronaldo celebrates at full-time. (Image: Alamy)
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He told the club's official website: "We have to focus on our own performance. The result was good, it will lift our momentum and the confidence of the team, but we have to be realistic.

"With that kind of performance it will be almost impossible to get something out of the away game against Liverpool, and then also away against Arsenal and home against Chelsea will be difficult.

"We need to play better against the ball with more physicality, with more aggressiveness. This was the biggest issue and the biggest thing that I was not happy with today."

Featured Image Credit: FutbolMuu/Twitter

Topics: Premier League, Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, Norwich City

Daniel Marland
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