Cristiano Ronaldo showed his dedication to the Manchester United cause on Thursday night by completing a pitch-long sprint to support a late counter attack against Arsenal – even though he was injured.
The Portuguese forward was struggling towards the end of the Old Trafford encounter and needed to be substituted for Anthony Martial late on – but completed one final act of commitment to help the Red Devils to victory.
Ronaldo won a corner that United were defending before sprinting up the entire length of the pitch in just 12 seconds while carrying the knock.
The 36-year-old did not even end up touching the ball after Jadon Sancho squared the ball to Bruno Fernandes, whose shot was blocked by Takehiro Tomiyasu, but Ronaldo’s efforts were applauded by the United faithful.
The Portuguese forward was substituted just seconds later and received a standing ovation from the Stretford End, before running down the tunnel following his knock.
The late efforts from Ronaldo pleased Amazon Prime Sport co-commentator Ally McCoist, who claimed the 36-year-old would ‘need a taxi’ to get back to defensive duties had he stayed no the pitch.
‘I can’t take my eyes off Ronaldo there,’ said McCoist. ‘What a counter attack this is!
‘He’s down the bottom of the pitch but he’ll need a taxi to get back, I think. He’ll need to phone Manchester cabs! He’s breaking his neck, oh dear me.’
Ronaldo was chasing his first hat-trick back in Manchester United colours after he netted two second-half goals to steer United to a 3-2 victory over old rivals Arsenal.
The Gunners led through Emile Smith Rowe’s first-half strike, but Fernandes equalised for the Red Devils on the stroke of half-time.
Ronaldo swept United in front early in the second-half but Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal struck back through Martin Odegaard’s finish from inside the box.
But Odegaard went from hero to zero after the Norwegian fouled United midfielder Fred in the penalty box, leaving Ronaldo to blast past Aaron Ramsdale from 12 yards