Revealed: United's Player of the Month
Cristiano Ronaldo’s five goals in four April games has earned him a second consecutive Manchester United Player of the Month award - and his fourth overall this season.
The Portuguese forward was named March’s recipient after a stunning hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur grabbed him the headlines. He followed up on that last month with another Old Trafford treble, this time to down Norwich City by the same 3-2 scoreline. With further goals netted away at Arsenal and at home to Chelsea, it was a productive few weeks in attack for our age-defying no.7.
Ronaldo's competitors for the accolade were Nemanja Matic and David De Gea, but he emerged as the clear winner with 74 per cent of the vote.
United fans and the wider football world were deeply saddened to hear of the tragic loss in Cristiano’s family during April, and the manner in which he returned to the pitch after missing only one match was testimony to his renowned mental strength.
Absent for United’s trip to Anfield, Ronaldo started a few days later at the Emirates and slid home a fine finish from Matic’s cross to get the Reds back into the game against Arsenal.
The experienced duo combined once again back at home, with Matic sending a cute chipped ball over the top of the Chelsea defence and Ronaldo controlling it deftly before executing a powerful finish past Eduoard Mendy.
As for his hat-trick at Norwich's expense, Cristiano wrapped it up with a drilled free-kick after opening the scoring early on with a simple finish after Anthony Elanga successfully pressed high up the pitch. His second was the archetypal Ronaldo header, a demonstration of brilliant strength and aerial prowess. He leapt high at a corner to direct the ball past Tim Krul.
This is the second time this season that our no.7 has won back-to-back awards, having done the same in his scintillating first two months back at the club after arriving from Juventus at the end of August.
April also saw the breaking or achieving of several records for the club legend. His strike at Arsenal was his 100th in the Premier League, and that made him one of four players in the last two decades to score a century in two of Europe’s big-five leagues, having also achieved the feat in La Liga.
Two other strikers who have worn United's red shirt make up that elite quartet: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Ligue 1, Serie A) and Edinson Cavani (Ligue 1, Serie A). The final player on the list is Gonzalo Higuain (La Liga, Serie A).
Matic's contributions to Ronaldo's tally earned him five per cent of the vote from supporters, while De Gea received a significant 21 per cent after several demonstrations of goalkeeping heroics home and away.
Congratulations to Cristiano on his fourth Player of the Month award of the campaign!