Soccer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer denies Man Utd have Cristiano Ronaldo problem – ‘Not impossible’

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praises Cristiano Ronaldo

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Cristiano Ronaldo bagged two goals on his second Manchester United debut on Saturday as his side inflicted a 4-1 Premier League defeat on strugglers Newcastle United. The Portugal international’s homecoming saw his side storm to the top of the table, but raised the prospect of a future selection issue for his manager.

Ronaldo opened the scoring just before half-time, tapping in from close range after a shot from Mason Greenwood had been spilled by keeper Freddie Woodman.

And the former Real Madrid man struck a second just after the hour mark, firing through the legs of Woodman to cap a sensational return to Old Trafford.

The 36-year-old was a menace throughout and his arrival will inevitably help United become even more potent in front of goal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have already found the back of the net 11 times this season and finally look to have regained the attacking impetus they displayed for years under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Man Utd now appear to have their strongest side since Ferguson’s days and Solskjaer has an abundance of talent to choose from.

And the Norwegian claims he won’t have a problem with leaving Ronaldo out of his side in future.

“It’s not impossible to leave him out,” Solskjaer said following Saturday’s triumph. “He is 36.

“Mason is 19, so it’s the same. I have to manage his minutes and I have to manage a 36-year-old’s minutes as well.

“The more quality you add to the group, the more healthy the competition [is].

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“I think seeing Raphael [Varane] and Cristiano coming has raised everyone’s eyebrows because they are winners.

“They have won everything there is to win and they put demands on themselves which the young boys, the rest of the team, look at and think that is how you stay at the top.

“So it is only going to be good for everyone.”

The new Premier League season has started in emphatic fashion and it already appears that the title race could be one of the most hotly-contested battles for years.

Chelsea and Liverpool are level with United on 10 points after winning three of their opening four games. And Manchester City, Brighton and Tottenham are all just one point behind the frontrunning trio.

“When you win a game you enjoy it,” Solskjaer added.

“When you see fans being happy you really enjoy it. We have to deliver every time. That’s Manchester United – it doesn’t change.

“Cristiano senses the big moments and is ruthless. He is clinical. He has lifted the team and everyone around us.”

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