Cristiano Ronaldo's welcome-back festivities continued on Tuesday as the star scored in his Manchester United return to Champions League. However, the celebration ended there after United was upset by Swiss side Young Boys in a 2-1 loss in the first match of the Champions League group stage.
After scoring twice over the weekend against Newcastle in his second Manchester United debut, Ronaldo only waited 13 minutes to score his third goal in as many days. As Ronaldo waited to time his run along the Young Boys backline, Bruno Fernandes picked out his Portuguese compatriot with a sublime, outside-of-the-boot pass. Ronaldo collected the pass and calmly sent his shot through the legs of Young Boys goalkeeper David von Ballmoos for the lead.
For the all-time leading Champions League goalscorer, it was Ronaldo's 135th career goal in the competition. It seals the longest gap in between Champions League goals for a player at a single club, as it has been more than 12 years since Ronaldo last scored in the competition for Manchester United (2008-09 Champions League semifinal second leg vs. Arsenal).
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According to Opta, Young Boys is the 36th different team that Ronaldo has scored against in the Champions League, equaling Lionel Messi's record. The 36-year-old star also drew even with Iker Casillas's record for career UCL appearances with 177.
Ronaldo rejoined Manchester United at the end of August in a reported €15 million ($17.7 million, plus another $9.5 million in add-ons) move, 12 years after leaving United for Real Madrid.
But a 35th-minute red card to Manchester United right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka drastically altered the tie as the Red Devils were forced into a defensive shell after subbing off Jadon Sancho to compensate.
Still, United looked happy to come away with the point after playing 55 minutes down a man, withstanding 18 shots while only conceding a 66th-minute goal to Moumi Ngamaleu. That is, until the 95th minute.
U.S. men's national team forward Jordan Pefok pounced on an errant, ill-advised back pass from Jesse Lingard in stoppage time and slotted in the dramatic winner to the roars of a jubilant home crowd.
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