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viva ronaldo Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's challenge to his Man United team after sensational Ronaldo return

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Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United scores their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United scores their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United scores their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer challenged his team to turn on the style week after week as Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford lit the red touch paper on their Premier League title challenge.

Ronaldo enjoyed a dream homecoming after he sealed a transfer from Juventus last month, as the returning star’s brace helped Manchester United to a comprehensive victory against Newcastle.

A fortnight of anticipation reached fever pitch on Saturday afternoon as the 36-year-old stepped out at his old stomping ground in a red shirt for the first time in 12 years and 118 days.

It was a sight few ever expected to see again and Ronaldo, ever the showman, rose to the occasion.

The frontman opened the scoring and put United back ahead after Javier Manquillo had levelled for Newcastle, with Bruno Fernandes’ stunner and a fine Jesse Lingard goal sealing a 4-1 victory at a bouncing Old Trafford.

"This is what Cristiano is about," declared Solskjaer. "When you win a game you enjoy it. When you see fans being happy you really enjoy it. There were loads of expectations today. They all delivered.

"We have to deliver every time. That’s Manchester United. It doesn’t change.

"Cristiano Ronaldo has developed into a fantastic goalscorer. He played a very good game, He dropped in, linked play well."

Fernandes shared some of the limelight with Ronaldo as he scored the best goal of the game and he saluted the performance of his Portuguese team-mate.

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Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United celebrates with Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring their side's third goal. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United celebrates with Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring their side's third goal. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United celebrates with Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring their side's third goal. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

"It was almost perfect if we did not concede. We are really happy and the performance in general was really good," said Fernandes.

"Newcastle are really organised, defend well but we moved the ball quick and waited for the right moment to hit them.

"It is something I am working on and today I got the chance and scored.

"Everyone knows what Cristiano Ronaldo brought for the club and we are really happy to have him. The most important, as he will say, is the result for the team. Good players can always play well together.

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"We arrived at the end (of last season) with some mistakes but did really well. There has been an improvement in the club and now it is time to take the next step."

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce did not enjoy his return to Old Trafford, with the former United centre-back admitting his side had been undone by a master goal getter.

"That is the goalscoring instinct of a centre forward, where our defenders haven’t followed it in and he is on the end to get a tap in and change the game," he said of Ronaldo.

"If there is a genuine superstar among everyone, then this kid is with what he has achieved. We have witnessed it again today. He is something else.

"I was very pleased with a lot of it. We were a constant threat on the counter attack. With the third goal we had a big opportunity with Joelinton to maybe go 2-2 and then with the quality [Bruno] Fernandes possesses he smashes, one in the top corner and all the hard work all comes undone.

"We had some really good opportunities. I can’t remember coming here with so many opportunities. The difficulty is giving poor goals away."

This was the story line United fans had dreamed about as they welcomed Ronaldo back to Old Trafford and as he tends to do, this enduringly reliable superstar delivered in the grand manner.

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