Cristiano Ronaldo played the full 90 minutes on his Manchester United return and made a huge impact with two goals in a 4-1 win over Newcastle.
His first was a simple tap-in after goalkeeper Freddie Woodman made a mess of a hopeful Mason Greenwood effort.
Ronaldo’s second was more stylish as he nutmegged Woodman to cap off a fine counter-attack fuelled by Luke Shaw.
Goals are ultimately what Ronaldo will be judged upon but his overall impact on the game proved that he is still a freakish talent at the age of 36.
Ronaldo touched the ball 62 times at Old Trafford and was very trigger-happy, firing off six shots – more than any other player on the pitch.
When he left United for Real Madrid in 2009, Ronaldo was a wing wizard with a knack for scoring goals. He is no longer that player.
Evidence of his evolution from wide man to out-and-out centre forward was found in the fact that he completed zero dribbles, as documented by stats gurus WhoScored.com.
Defensively, Ronaldo did very little – making zero tackles, fouls, interceptions, blocks or clearances.
But his passing was fairly crisp. He completed 86.7% of his 45 passes.
His brace vs Newcastle marked the 200th time in Ronaldo’s career that he has scored two or more goals in a single match.