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new record Roy Keane uses a single word to describe Cristiano Ronaldo after stunning hat-trick


Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first Manchester United hat-trick since 2008 as he turned a game dominated by Tottenham into a 3-2 win for the home side in front of a rocking Old Trafford crowd.

After he was absent from last Sunday's Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium, Ronaldo returned with a bang, striking home superbly from 25 yards and adding another after Harry Kane had levelled from the spot.

The hosts were staring down the barrel of an unwanted draw following Harry Maguire’s own goal, only for the 37-year-old to rise highest to head home a corner and send Old Trafford wild.

"The guy’s a genius," declared Keane, who played with Ronaldo in his first spell at United.

"Ronaldo looked angry today, he played with a lot of aggression. He’s obviously upset with whatever happened last week, but he showed today what we have seen over the years.

"His three goals were fantastic. He brings so much to the team, why people think he cannot bring goals or value."

When asked whether he believed United will still be at the club next season he added: "For as great as he is, the next challenge for Ronaldo is to make this United team compete again for league titles. Ronaldo is a huge part of the rebuilding of the club.

"When he’s producing like that, you need Ronaldo in your team. Ronaldo has been doing this throughout his career, he’s been doing it for years. I think he can do it for another season."

The second of Ronaldo's three goals in this game saw him break Josef Bican’s previous record of 805 to stand alone as the greatest goalscorer in the FIFA record books and you can be sure he was aware of that as he accepted the acclaim of United fans after the final whistle sounded.

There have been some suggestions that Ronaldo has been too big a presence in the United dressing room this season, but Paul Pogba stepped forward after the game to dismiss that theory.

"Ronaldo was brilliant. I think that’s all we needed – a reaction," declared Pogba, whose attitude has also been questioned time and again in recent years.

"We scored beautiful goals. Even when we conceded a goal, we came back and scored again. The mentality was there again today.

"Everybody knows Cristiano – there’s no need to talk about him. That’s what he does. He didn’t play in the last game, but he comes back and scores three goals. Everybody’s happy.

"It was good today. You can hear the fans – they were pushing us and feeling it. I think today was a very good performance as a team and a very good reaction from the City game.

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"We kept believing. In the second half we didn’t get the nice passing, and the movement I think wasn’t there. We gave them a bit of confidence, that’s why they scored. But we got a corner and scored the winning goal.

"It’s a boost. We needed it to go again. We want the top four and they were opponents who are looking for the top four also. It was a good win and a good performance."

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