19 of 21 goals matter: Cristiano Ronaldo's scoring influence on Manchester United's season

Manchester United were without Cristiano Ronaldo in midweek, and since he signed, the club are still searching for a first Premier League win without him.

The team’s record without Ronaldo is abysmal. While he did not help in the home game against Liverpool, and the away game would have been a slog for him too, the overall record without the number 7 is astoundingly poor.

United have won only one match without Ronaldo since he signed, that was in the FA Cup against Aston Villa in January, and none in the league.

Ronaldo has scored hat-tricks in United’s last two home games, underlining his importance to the team. Don’t let anybody tell you he has been the problem this season.

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

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Ronaldo’s crucial goals

Ronaldo has so far scored 21 goals this season. Among these 21 strikes, 19 have had a pivotal influence on the result.

19 of the goals have either been to give United the lead or, equalise, or like the Norwich game, be part of a match where United needed all three to make up for the team’s atrocious defending.

Only goals against Burnley and Brighton, could United have done without. There is no ‘stat-padding’ going on among Ronaldo’s goals.

  1. 1-0 v Newcastle: Ronaldo gives United the lead
  2. 2-1 v Newcstle: Ronaldo restores United’s lead
  3. 1-0 v Young Boys: Ronaldo scores United’s opener
  4. 1-0 v West Ham: Ronaldo gives United the lead
  5. 2-1 v Villarreal: Ronaldo scores the winner
  6. 3-2 v Atalanta: Ronaldo scores the winner
  7. 1-0 v Tottenham: Ronaldo nets opener
  8. 1-1 v Atalanta: Ronaldo scores equaliser
  9. 2-2 v Atalanta: Ronaldo equalises again
  10. 1-0 v Villarreal: Ronaldo scores opener
  11. 2-1 v Arsenal: Ronaldo gives United the lead
  12. 3-2 v Arsenal: Ronaldo scores winning penalty
  13. 1-0 v Norwich: Ronaldo scores winner
  14. 3-0 v Burnley: Ronaldo extends the lead
  15. 2-0 v Brighton: Ronaldo extends the lead
  16. 1-0 v Tottenham: Ronaldo scores opener
  17. 2-1 v Tottenham: Ronaldo restores the lead
  18. 3-2 v Tottenham: Ronaldo scores the winner
  19. 1-0 v Norwich: Ronaldo opens the scoring
  20. 2-0 v Norwich: Ronaldo double the lead
  21. 3-2 v Norwich: Ronaldo scores the winner
Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Ronaldo may need a few more

If Ronaldo were to take the rest of the season off nobody would blame him. At 37-years-old he has contributed his fair share this season.

While has 21 goals, nobody else has reached double figures. Bruno Fernandes is closest with nine, followed by ‘he who shall not be named’ Mason Greenwood on six, who has been cast aside since January, and is still the team’s third highest scorer.

United have become reliant on Ronaldo’s goals. Marcus Rashford struck 21 last season, and Edinson Cavani 17. For varying reasons they have combined for just seven this season.

It’s no wonder almost every single one of Ronaldo’s goals matter. United need every goal the team can get, and the superstar will be needed if the under performing team have any chance of finishing in the top four.

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