Neil Lennon has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to have a significant impact on Manchester United’s season after scoring a brace against Newcastle United.
Ronaldo couldn’t have asked for a much better second debut for Man United, as he scored his side’s first two goals at Old Trafford, before Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard added one each late on to make it 4-1.
While the scoreboard was somewhat complimentary of United’s performance, it’s safe to say that most fans will be happy with how the game went overall.
Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon was speaking on Premier Sports after the game and praised Ronaldo for being able to still score crucial goals at the age of 36.
Neil Lennon on Cristiano Ronaldo.
“He’s going to make the difference and have a significant say in Manchester United’s season,” Lennon said.
“United needed him straight away. Newcastle equalised and when they needed a goal he comes up with a goal.”
While Lennon was highly complimentary of Ronaldo’s first game back with the Red Devils, he doesn’t believe the Portuguese footballer will make enough of an impact to win United their first Premier League title since 2013.
“No, I wouldn’t go that far. Not on that performance. The all-round performance from United – there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done,” Lennon commented.
“He could be the difference between one point and three points. Southampton a couple of weeks ago – one each. He maybe would have won the game for them.
“Today he gets the two goals that sets Manchester United off on the win. Then you see the showboating as the game goes on. It’s fairytale stuff but the does of realism is there’s still a bit of work to do for Man United.”
Job done for Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United after a 4-1 win with a brace for the homecoming hero 🔴
“He’s going to make the difference.” 🗣️
“They will score an awful lot of goals.” 🔥 pic.twitter.com/szHZbCOb7r
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) September 11, 2021
Bigger challenges ahead for Man United.
While United will be largely happy with how their first game after the international break went, they will want to improve if they aim to become genuine title challengers.
United are currently on top of the Premier League table, and will remain there after the fourth round of action, provided Chelsea and Liverpool don’t claim one-sided victories this weekend.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side have yet to come up against strong opposition this season however, and may come to rue the 1-1 draw with Southampton in their second game this term.
The Red Devils kick off their Champions League campaign against Young Boys of Switzerland on Tuesday, before a tricky Premier League encounter against West Ham next weekend.