Cristiano Ronaldo.

Why Ronaldo's Atalanta goals were unique

Thursday 11 November 2021 09:50

We believe Cristiano Ronaldo did something in the recent Champions League tie at Atalanta that no Manchester United player has ever done before.

Those keen on stats may be interested to learn that, because the no.7 scored in stoppage time in both the first half and second half, our research suggests this has never been managed by an individual before in the club's long history.

The Portugal international converted Bruno Fernandes's backheel before the break and then forced a point with a dramatic volley when Mason Greenwood popped the ball back to him in the closing stages of the 2-2 draw.

Watch Cristiano Ronaldo's well-worked first goal in the 2-2 draw.

There have been instances where it has been close to being done before – Ji-sung Park netted at the end of both halves in a 2-1 victory over Wolves at Old Trafford in November 2010.

The South Korean star opened the scoring in the 45th minute (the BBC registered it as 44m 53secs, so seven seconds away from being eligible) from a Darren Fletcher pass, and then struck after two minutes of injury time, when firing a low shot past Marcus Hahnemann in the visitors' goal.

Ruud van Nistelrooy bagged a penalty at the end of the first half against Fulham at Old Trafford in March 2003. The Dutchman also added the final strike in a 3-0 victory in injury time – a volley to complete his hat-trick.

So the question was: when did the opener arrive? (Even if it is his sensational solo second goal in this game that normally attracts the most repeat viewings.) The Premier League and BBC logged it as the 44th minute when the ball hit the net, after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was tugged back.

Cristiano Ronaldo's dramatic late leveller at Atalanta.

We have trawled through the archives and checked out other instances where it may have happened but cannot find another case in any competition.

It is more common for the team to score in injury time at the end of both halves – indeed, it occurred earlier this season in the 4-1 home win against Newcastle United. Ronaldo claimed the first goal of his return with a couple of extra minutes on the clock before the interval, while Jesse Lingard's effort was in the 92nd minute.