Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal of the season as Manchester United kicked off their Europa League campaign with a 2-0 win over Sheriff on Thursday.
Ronaldo, selected to take the lead when Erik ten Hag minimized rotations against the side that stunned Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League, shot home a first-half penalty to make United 2-0. after Jadon Sancho opened the scoring.
live score reports that Ronaldo had scored 699 club goals after the break and missed a chance to reach the 700 mark after the break, but United produced a controlled performance to take home the win.
United needed three points after last week’s home defeat to Real Sociedad in their opening game in Group E.
Although Sheriff started well, United took the lead with their first real attack in the 17th minute, when Sancho turned Christian Eriksen’s pass and stopped a neat finish in the bottom right corner.
Iyayi Atiemwen swept wide of the bottom left corner with David de Gea out of sight, before Stjepan Radeljic denied Sancho a second with a heroic hollowing out of the goal line.
United were soon given the opportunity to double their lead by Patrick Kpozo, who was tricked into a foul by Diogo Dalot.
Ronaldo, who had to settle for a substitute role in United’s last four Premier League games, took his penalty straight down the middle.
Radeljic was once again on hand to clear as Ronaldo attacked the back post after halftime, before Rasheed nearly drove Akanbi De Gea out of the way with a lush lob from great distance.
Ronaldo stepped aside from the top right corner from 18 yards as a chance for his 700th club goal begged, although United have struggled to take a fifth win in their last six games.
While Ten Hag will mainly focus on United’s recovery as contenders in the Premier League, the strong side he played on Thursday showed his desire to bounce back from last week’s loss to La Real.
With Sheriff taking a win on matchday, United’s triumph maintained their status as favorites to get out of the group.
Ten Hag, meanwhile, has lost just two of his 21 away games in major leagues as manager (W13 D6), against Getafe in February 2020 and Liverpool in December 2020.