Sunday afternoon’s game at the London Stadium wasn’t short of excitement in the first 45 minutes.
Both Manchester United and West Ham United were playing the match on the front foot and perhaps the only surprise was that it took until the 30th minute for the first goal to arrive.
Said Benrahma, a doubt for the fixture initially, was given the freedom of the pitch to place his strike, but as he did so Raphael Varane inexplicably diverted it past a completely wrong-footed David De Gea.
The Hammers’ lead didn’t last long, however, with the Red Devils doing what they’ve done so many times under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Why it takes their opponents to score first to often spark Man United into life is anyone’s guess, but when they needed a Johnny-on-the-spot, Cristiano Ronaldo was there.
66 – West Ham’s London Stadium is the 66th different stadium that Cristiano Ronaldo has scored at in matches played in Europe’s big five leagues, scoring at more unique venues than any other player since his Man Utd debut in 2003-04, ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (64). Conqueror. pic.twitter.com/64uJF3SeZp
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 19, 2021
Beating a static West Ham back line, Ronaldo’s first shot was saved by Lukasz Fabianski, though once the keeper spilled it, the Portuguese didn’t need asking twice.
Burying the ball in the net, and with the goal given after a short VAR check, Ronaldo had set another crazy stat in the process.