Ronaldo's hot streak continues

Tuesday 02 November 2021 21:02

Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored in four straight Champions League games - becoming the first United player to do so for 18 years.

The 36-year-old, who of course returned to the Reds in the summer after 12 years away, registered a goal against Young Boys in Bern, before netting memorable winners versus Villarreal and Atalanta in back-to-back European home games.

On Tuesday, he linked superbly with Bruno Fernandes to bag the equaliser in Bergamo, just before half-time in the clash with Atalanta and then hit a dramatic injury-time goal to rescue a point.

They were Cristiano’s eighth and ninth goals in 11 games in his second spell at United and ensured he now has the longest scoring sequence of any Red in Europe’s top-tier competition since Ruud van Nistelrooy in the 2002/03 season – the campaign before Ronaldo signed.

Back then, our prolific Dutchman found the net in five consecutive Reds games, on the way to being crowned the competition’s top scorer for the second time.

An Old Trafford clincher in a 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in November 2002 started the sequence as United completed the first group phase in style.

A quickfire double a fortnight later in Basel helped turned that game on its head, with United winning 3-1 after conceding an early goal to Christian Gimenez.

Ruud was at the double again in United’s final European game of 2002, as the Reds beat Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 in Manchester.

Two months later, van Nistelrooy picked up where he had left off, nipping in five minutes before the end to help down Juventus in another victory and the Old Lady were victims once again the following week, as Ruud added a third for United following Ryan Giggs’s first-half brace.

Our striker was actually in the midst of a run of nine successive scoring games in Europe, stretching from September 2002 to April 2003, although he missed three games in the October due to injury and was rested for dead rubbers with Basel and Deportivo as United chased down Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.

Despite only playing nine times in the competition proper, RvN topped the Champions League goals chart with 12 at the end of the campaign – let’s hope his one-time team-mate can go on to emulate that feat, too!