Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates 60th career hat-trick as United beat Norwich

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 60th hat-trick of his career as Manchester United beat Norwich City 3-2 at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo put United in control of the game with an early open goal and then a towering header from a corner.

At that point, Ralf Rangnick might have hoped for a rare simple afternoon but it was not to be as his side let Norwich back into the game.

That meant that more Ronaldo magic was needed to win the game and he provided, with a blistering free kick past Tim Krul.

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

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It was the 50th hat-trick of his club career, with another ten on top at international level, which is a staggering record.

He shows no sign of slowing down and he was back to his imperious best on an afternoon where United really needed him to step up.

The big story pre-match were the protests against the Glazer family, but Ronaldo’s brilliance ensured plenty of fans will go home buzzing about what happened on the pitch.

After the game, he sent a message to United’s fans and players, as we remain in the race for the top four, with Arsenal and Tottenham losing today.

United’s trip to Arsenal next weekend looks huge now, although both sides face important clashes with rivals in midweek in the meantime.

Ronaldo would need to be on another level to earn this United side a win at Anfield, but what a result that would be if we could get something there.

For now, Ronaldo is basking in the glow of a performance which dragged his side through and underlined his quality once again.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.