After Cristiano Ronaldo’s stellar showing against Norwich, Owen Hargreaves has hit out at the forward’s haters, asking “how on earth” he’s the issue at the club.
Ronaldo was the man of the moment at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon where he scored his second hat-trick in his last three Premier League games to dispatch Dean Smith’s side that caused Manchester United serious problems on the day.
Two first half goals from the Portuguese forward left United in a comfortable position; but by the time that the clock hit 52 minutes, it was suddenly 2-2.
Poor defending from United looked like it could’ve cost them two points on an afternoon where top four competitors Arsenal and Tottenham lost their respective matches.
Ronaldo now has 21 goals for the season, and Hargreaves wonders how some can question his ability; even at 37 years of age.
“I was just laughing to myself [about] when people criticise Cristiano Ronaldo and they say ‘Oh, he’s the problem.’ How on earth is he the problem?” The former United midfielder told Premier League Productions.
“He’s one of the only reasons they are where they are. David de Gea has been their player of the season and Cristiano Ronaldo is a close second.”
In a game where Ralf Rangnick claimed he was “not happy at all” with the defensive performance, United were lucky to come away with all the spoils.
Ronaldo took the game by the scruff of the neck and managed to take his club tally over 20 goals for the 16th consecutive season.
A number of his goals for United this season have been vital to the result, so it was not surprising to see him roll back the years with a vintage free-kick to win the game for his side.
“I mean, not many people played well today, but Cristiano did,” Hargreaves said. “And when you’ve got a goalscorer at the top of the pitch, they get you out of trouble.
“I mean that game could’ve been anything, but Ronaldo got the job done, we know that and credit to him. He just showed he’s huge in big moments.”
United have six remaining fixtures this season, and are three points away from Spurs in fourth place. Liverpool away is next though, and with a number of regulars still out for The Reds, it could be a difficult trip to Anfield.