Manchester United earned a vital 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday (February 11) courtesy of a Cristiano Ronaldo-esque goal from Rasmus Hojlund and Scott McTominay’s winner.
Erik ten Hag’s made a promising start to the game at Villa Park and they took the lead in the 17th minute. Rasmus Hojlund’s rich reign of form continued as the Dane made it five goals in five consecutive games.
Bruno Fernandes sent an asking cross into the Villa box and it was met by the impressive Harry Maguire. The English defender headed the ball on and Hojlund pounced, showing striker’s instinct that Ronaldo would’ve been proud of, and fired past Villains goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Unai Emery’s men reacted well and had several opportunities at Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana’s goal. The Cameroonian shot-stopper was forced into a good save from John McGinn in the 24th minute. He was at full stretch to prevent the Scottish midfielder from scoring.
Onana was at it again a minute later and produced another fine save. This time he raced out to close down Ollie Watkins and managed to keep the English frontman at bay.
Villa headed in at halftime ruing their missed chances while United will have been happy to have been a goal ahead. Onana was having a good game and denied Watkins again in the 49th minute with the Englishman’s goal-bound effort hitting him in the chest.
However, Onana couldn’t do anything about Douglas Luiz’s strike in the 67th minute as Villa finally found a way past the Cameroon international. He managed to deny Clement Lenglet at point-blank range but Moussa Diaby volleyed towards goal and Luiz reacted by firing into the back of the net.
The hosts failed to capitalize on that equalizer and it was Manchester United who came away with all three points. McTominay entered the fray in the 73rd minute and he came to the fore as he has done on several occasions this season.
Diogo Dalot sent a wicked cross into Villa’s box in the 86th minute and McTominay raced towards it. The Scot beat Matty Cash to the ball and headed home a crucial winner for Ten Hag’s Red Devils.
The victory means United move to within five points of fifth-placed Villa and six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. It was a must-win game for the visitors and they got the job done.
One fan compared Hojlund to former Red Devils superstar Ronaldo:
“Hojlund reminds me of Ronaldo at ST a bit.”
Another fan took aim at Luiz after he shimmied while celebrating his goal:
“Shimmy now Douglas Luiz I dare you.”
Here’s how fans on X (formerly Twitter) reacted to Manchester United’s late victory at Villa Park:
Manchester United’s Rasmus Hojlund named Cristiano Ronaldo as his idol
Hojlund has gone on record to declare that he grew up idolizing Ronaldo. The Dane is tasked with following in the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s footsteps at Old Trafford as the Red Devils’ new frontman.
The 20-year-old has been in fine form since the turn of the year and has managed 11 goals and two assists in 29 games across competitions this season. That’s a solid record but he still has a long way to go in catching his idol’s goalscoring feats.
It comes as no surprise to hear that Hojlund holds Ronaldo in high regard, even more so than former Manchester United stars Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez. He said (via GOAL):
“It has to be Cristiano. [Wayne] Rooney and [Carlos] Tevez as well, but Cristiano was probably the guy. I remember supporting him and following him at United, then watching him at the period when he was at Real Madrid and Juventus, then back again as well. He’s always been my idol.”
Ronaldo enjoyed two prolific spells at Manchester United before leaving for the second time in his career in November 2022. He bagged 145 goals and 64 assists in 346 games during his time at Old Trafford.