Cristiano Ronaldo’s greatest Champions League nights at Old Trafford

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Cristiano Ronaldo is set to play his first Champions League match at Old Trafford since rejoining Manchester United when they host Villarreal on Wednesday.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the best nights at the stadium in the competition for the Portugal forward, who won the first of his five European Cups with United and is the Champions League’s record scorer.

Manchester United 7 Roma 1 (quarter-final second leg, April 10 2007)

Ronaldo scored twice in United's thrashing of Roma in 2007 (Martin Rickett/PA).
Ronaldo scored twice in United’s thrashing of Roma in 2007 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Having not previously scored in the competition, Ronaldo notched a brace as United thrashed a stunned Roma to advance into the semi-finals 8-3 on aggregate. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men were 4-0 up by half-time on the night via efforts from Michael Carrick, Alan Smith, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo, who then added the fifth shortly after the break. Carrick made it 6-0, Daniele De Rossi pulled a goal back for the visitors and Patrice Evra completed the rout late on.

Manchester United 3 AC Milan 2 (semi-final first leg, April 24 2007)

Ronaldo gave United an early lead in the last four tie with a header before Kaka struck twice to put Milan in front. Rooney then netted a double of his own to give United the advantage again, his second coming in stoppage time. The second leg would prove a disappointing affair for Ferguson’s team as the Italians won 3-0 to triumph 5-3 on aggregate.

Manchester United 2 Sporting Lisbon 1 (group stage, Nov 27 2007)

Ronaldo (right) celebrates his stoppage-time winner against his old club Sporting Lisbon in 2007 (Martin Rickett/PA).
Ronaldo (right) celebrates his stoppage-time winner against his old club Sporting Lisbon in 2007 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Another contest with late drama as Ronaldo produced a stoppage-time winner against his old club, driving home a free-kick after Carlos Tevez had cancelled out Abel Ferreira’s opener for the visitors. The goal, which sealed top spot in Group F, was Ronaldo’s fifth in the pool, which also included the decisive effort in United’s 1-0 away win against Sporting.

Manchester United 1 Barcelona 0 (semi-final second leg, April 29 2008)

Ronaldo (left) helped United get past Barcelona in the 2007-08 semi-finals (Martin Rickett/PA).
Ronaldo (left) helped United get past Barcelona in the 2007-08 semi-finals (Martin Rickett/PA).

A first Champions League final awaited Ronaldo after he helped United see off Barca following a 0-0 draw in the first leg. While he did not get on the scoresheet, Ronaldo was involved in the build-up to Paul Scholes’ superb strike just before the quarter hour. United went on to beat Chelsea on penalties in the final in Moscow after a 1-1 draw, with Ronaldo scoring the opener and having a spot-kick saved in the shootout.

Manchester United 2 Inter Milan 0 (last 16 second leg, March 11 2009)

After a 0-0 draw in the first leg, United got past Jose Mourinho’s Inter and into the quarter-finals with a victory that saw Nemanja Vidic give the hosts the lead early on and Ronaldo then wrap things up with a second-half header.

Manchester United 1 Arsenal 0 (semi-final first leg, April 29 2009)

Another occasion when Ronaldo did not score, but he brought some fine saves out of Manuel Almunia and rattled the crossbar in a contest settled by John O’Shea’s early goal. The Portuguese was then the star of the show in the second leg, netting twice as United beat Arsenal 3-1 to progress to a final that they lost 2-0 to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in Rome.

Manchester United 1 Real Madrid 2 (last 16 second leg, Mar 5 2013)

Ronaldo (right) returned to Old Trafford with Real Madrid in 2013 (Martin Rickett/PA).
Ronaldo (right) returned to Old Trafford with Real Madrid in 2013 (Martin Rickett/PA).

Having left United to join Real in the summer of 2009, Ronaldo returned to haunt his former employers, scoring the Spaniards’ second to secure a 3-2 aggregate win. After a 1-1 first-leg draw in Madrid – in which Ronaldo had also scored – United went ahead at Old Trafford through a Sergio Ramos own goal, before having Nani controversially sent off. Luka Modric then drew things level and Ronaldo had the final say soon after.

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