Man Utd already using clear new tactic when Cristiano Ronaldo is on the pitch

Manchester United are clearly trying to play to Cristiano Ronaldo's strengths on his Old Trafford homecoming against Newcastle.

Ronaldo is making his second Red Devils debut on Saturday afternoon, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer naming the 36-year-old in his starting line-up against Steve Bruce's men.

And just before the end of the first half he marked it with a returning goal, tapping home from close range to fire the hosts in front and get himself off the mark.

As early as the opening few minutes it was clear United were trying to go direct to Ronaldo, sending a number of long balls upfield for him to latch onto.

Having lacked a powerful centre-forward since Romelu Lukaku left the club in 2019, Solskjaer has not usually implemented such a direct style since taking the helm.

But with the physically-dominant CR7 now leading the line, United have the ability to mix their approach up and sometimes play long balls forward.

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It didn't prove an effective tactic for the majority of the first half, but on the stroke of half-time Ronaldo swept the ball home to get his second spell up and running.

United had to endure some hairy moments in the first half, nevertheless, with the likes of Joe Willock and Matt Ritchie squandering some decent openings on the counter-attack.

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Ronaldo will hope to break the Magpies' resolve even further and put them out of sight after the interval.

The Portugal captain is desperate to lead United to glory once more, having claimed three Premier League titles and the Champions League in his first spell.

Speaking to the club's website this week, he said: "I am capable. I am ready to go. I am not here for a vacation.

  • Gary Neville will not be watching Cristiano Ronaldo's second debut at Man Utd

"Before was good, winning important things and I wore the shirt before, many years ago, but I am here to win again.

"It is a good chance for me, for the supporters, for the club, to get one step ahead. I am ready and I think I will be a huge thing in the next three or four years."

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