Manchester United take on Villarreal this week in a Champions League fixture already shaping up as ‘must-win’.

Villarreal are an opponent United have never beaten in five attempts, with the first four ending in 0-0 draws.

Star man Cristiano Ronaldo played in all four of those goalless draws, starting three and playing as a substitute. These took place in the Champions League group stages in 2005 and 2008.

In 2009 Ronaldo signed for Real Madrid, and during that spell in Spain he learned that the stubborn Yellow Submarine can be sunk.

UEFA Champions League Manchester United v Villarreal at Old Trafford 2008
(Photo by David Ashdown/Getty Images)

Ronaldo scored plenty vs resilient Villarreal

In the 15 games Ronaldo played against Villarreal for Real Madrid, he scored 13 goals.

That makes it 13 in 19 overall games against them – a figure he props up further with five assists.

 

Ronaldo’s biggest win against Villarreal came in 2010 when he scored in a 6-2 victory, and the following season he fired in a spectacular hat-trick in a 4-2 win.

Villarreal were not always soft opponents for his Real side however. In the 15 matches contested, Real Madrid only won eight, drawing five, and losing two.

Indeed in the last four games Ronaldo has played against Villarreal, he has won only one of them, drawing two and losing the other.

His final game against them was a 2-2 away draw in 2018, his final game for Real Madrid, in which he scored.

Villarreal v Real Madrid - La Liga
(Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

In comparison to other Spanish sides Ronaldo faced, Villarreal did pretty well. For instance he netted 27 against Sevilla, 25 vs Atletico Madrid, 23 against Getafe and 20 against Barcelona. Villarreal’s tally of just 13 conceded really is not too bad from their perspective.

Still, with a total of 18 goal contributions (13 goals and five assists) in 19 games, Ronaldo will fancy his chances of making his mark this week and scoring against them with Manchester United for the first time.

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