Cristiano Ronaldo secured absentee-hit Manchester United a scarcely-deserved Premier League draw against Chelsea as Old Trafford witnessed more protests against the Glazer family.

With Champions League qualification all but beyond them following defeats at Liverpool and Arsenal, interim boss Ralf Rangnick’s side escaped with a point on a night dominated for the most part by Thomas Tuchel’s Blues.

Marcos Alonso’s volley was the only goal wasteful Chelsea managed against United’s porous defence and that was cancelled out two minutes later as star man Ronaldo struck to seal a 1-1 draw.

The build-up was dominated by news that Rangnick was considering taking over as Austria manager and protests against the Glazer family’s ownership at a second-straight home match.

‘Glazers out’ read a banner above the tunnel before kick-off at Old Trafford, where a mixture of David De Gea’s saves and poor-decision making meant Chelsea failed to turn their 11 shots into a deserved lead.

Tuchel’s men finally broke the deadlock when Alonso volleyed home in the 60th minute but it did not kick open the floodgates. Instead, former Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic’s clipped ball put Ronaldo through to equalise.

Outstanding Reece James struck the post in the closing stages but United, without eight players on Thursday, somehow ended Chelsea’s club record run of eight-successive away wins in all competitions.

It was one-way traffic in the first half, with James stinging De Gea’s palms from 20 yards before slipping in Timo Werner to get away a low shot on goal.

United managed to avoid conceding inside the opening five minutes in a third-successive match, but the space Chelsea continued to find was alarming.

Kai Havertz directed the ball wide after stand-in United skipper Bruno Fernandes saw a tame header saved at the other end, with Ronaldo clobbering a hopeful overhead kick off target.

They were rare voyages forwards by United as Chelsea all too easily found space and created chances.

De Gea raged at his defence when N’Golo Kante got a shot on target as protesters entered the ground, having missed a minute for each of the Glazers’ 17 years in charge.

There were continued chants against United’s owners as the team struggled, with Havertz lashing an effort into the side-netting after Chelsea broke through the giants gaps left by the home side on a rapid counter.

Next it was De Gea denying the Germany international, who was played through by Kante but could not beat the outstretched goalkeeper. Tuchel looked furious on the touchline.

A wicked James cross just evaded fellow wing-back Alonso at the far post as the Chelsea onslaught continued, with De Gea denying Havertz as he stretched to reach a close-range header.

Somehow United managed to go into half-time with the match still scoreless.

Mason Mount dragged a chance wide 34 seconds into the second half as Chelsea continued to toy with the home side, who had Fernandes to thank for getting back and prevent Havertz putting Kante free.

Werner just failed to get a stud on a whipped Mount cross but United’s goal would finally be breached in the 60th minute.

James was given time to float over a cross from the right that Havertz flicked on for Alonso to hit a crashing volley at the far post.

But United are a peculiar side and have an unrelenting great leading the line.

Some sloppy possession allowed Matic to put Ronaldo behind with a clever pass, with the veteran lashing home a 62nd-minute equaliser in front of the Stretford End.

Matic and James tangled and De Gea shoved Mount as things became heated between two frustrated teams.

Boos greeted former United striker Romelu Lukaku’s introduction as he came on with Christian Pulisic in a bid to swing the match back Chelsea’s way.

James came agonisingly close to putting the visitors back ahead in the 80th minute, but his beautiful left-footed effort curled onto the post.

Victor Lindelof saw a stoppage-time header denied and the highlight of the closing stages the introduction of exciting 17-year-old talent Alejandro Garnacho for his United debut.

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Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner Georgina Rodríguez have announced that their baby son has died.

The sad news was revealed in a message from the couple that appeared on Manchester United and Portugal forward Ronaldo’s social media accounts on Monday evening.

It said: “It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away.

“It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel. Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness.

“We would like to thank the doctors and nurses for all their care and support. We are devastated at this loss and we kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time.

“Our baby boy, you are our angel. We will always love you. Cristiano Ronaldo and Georgina Rodríguez.”

Ronaldo had announced in a social media post last October that he and Rodríguez were expecting twins.

A message on Manchester United’s Twitter account on Monday evening read: “Your pain is our pain, @Cristiano. Sending love and strength to you and the family at this time.”

The 37-year-old’s United team-mate Marcus Rashford tweeted: “Thoughts are with you and Georgina brother. I’m so sorry.”

Ronaldo’s former club Real Madrid said in a statement: “Real Madrid, its president and board of directors are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the children that our dear Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner, Georgina Rodríguez, were expecting. Real Madrid shares in the family’s pain and wishes to send them all of our warmth.”

Manchester City, Leeds and the Premier League were among many others sending the couple messages of condolence on Twitter.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick saved Manchester United’s blushes as they made hard work of beating relegation-threatened Norwich on a day of protests against the Glazer family.

Green and gold flares filled the air along with chants against the long-despised owners before kick-off on Saturday, with thousands joining the protest organised by a recently-formed supporter group called The 1958.

Anti-Glazer songs continued throughout an Old Trafford encounter that looked set to end in a surprise draw after Kieran Dowell and Teemu Pukki goals cancelled out Ronaldo’s brace.

“You’re not fit to wear the shirt” bellowed some as fan discontent grew, only for star man Ronaldo to rifle home a stunning 25-yard free-kick and seal a hard-fought 3-2 win against Canaries.

A first win in five weeks for Ralf Rangnick’s side was hardly a resounding response to last week’s loss at Everton, but surprise defeats for Tottenham and Arsenal on Saturday have injected new life into United’s top-four hopes.

By contrast, Dean Smith’s rock-bottom Canaries saw their chances of beating the drop dim as Ronaldo proved their undoing on an afternoon when off-field anger dominated the pre-match conversation.

The protestors made their feelings loud and clear before the game, with a number of fans remaining outside until the 17th minute – one minute for every year of the Glazer’s ownership.

Those inside Old Trafford let their feeling known from the outset as the team kicked on after an early Pukki chance that David De Gea stood up to.

Anthony Elanga, Jadon Sancho and Ronaldo had early attempts for the attack-minded hosts, who pressed Norwich into a costly seventh-minute mistake.

Elanga has been a rare bright spot in a wretched season for the Old Trafford giants and his pressing led to him rob the ball off flustered Ben Gibson before squaring for Ronaldo to simply slot home.

Jesse Lingard, Diogo Dalot and Sancho had efforts as the United onslaught continued whilst chants against the Glazers echoed around Old Trafford.

Tim Krul superbly denied Lingard at the near post as United pushed for a second that would arrive from a 32nd-minute corner, with Ronaldo rising above Gibson to head home Alex Telles’ set-piece.

Ronaldo sent an audacious overhead kick over against a Norwich side that had created precious little, only to all too easily outmanoeuvre the hosts on the stroke of half-time.

Pukki played inside to Dimitris Giannoulis and United somehow failed to track the Finland forward’s run inside, so too Dowell’s burst to the backpost where he headed home unmarked.

It was a gut punch at the end of what had been a largely one-sided first half and Krul prevented Lingard’s sweetly-struck volley restoring United’s two-goal advantage early in the second period.

Norwich did not make any changes at the break and appeared to have been buoyed by Dowell’s goal, with the roles reversed as City stunned Old Trafford in the 52nd minute.

Goalscorer became provider as Dowell put Pukki through, impressively keeping his cool before striking past De Gea and in off the near post.

The goal was ratified after a VAR check for offside and Milot Rashica would have turned the game on its head was it not for a fine one-handed stop by De Gea that tipped his 20-yard strike wide.

Ronaldo saw a header saved from a Telles corner and Dowell tried his luck from distance as both teams continued to push.

Some United fans showed their discontent and Norwich smelt blood, with Rashica blocked by Dalot before Sam Byram headed over.

A number of fans welcomed Paul Pogba’s substitution, letting him know in no uncertain terms that are happy for him to leave this summer, as the mood threatened to darken.

But as anger mounted Ronaldo provided a release for all those connected to United, hitting a thumping free-kick that Krul could only tip onto the inside of the post as Old Trafford rocked to its foundations.

Bruno Fernandes saw a shot saved and United held off a late Norwich attacks to secure a much-needed three points.

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Merseyside Police have launched an investigation following an incident in which Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to knock a mobile phone out of a supporter’s hand at Everton.

The force is appealing for witnesses after footage on social media emerged which appeared to show the Portuguese smashing a phone out of a Toffees fan’s hand and onto the ground as he limped off towards the tunnel following United’s 1-0 loss at Goodison Park.

Ronaldo later issued an apology for his “outburst” via social media and invited the supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford “as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship”.

A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said: “We can confirm that we are liaising with Manchester United Football Club and Everton FC following reports of an alleged assault at the Everton v Manchester United football match at Goodison.

“As players were leaving the pitch at 2.30pm, it was reported that a boy was assaulted by one of the away team as they left the pitch.

“Inquiries are under way and officers are currently working with Everton Football Club to review CCTV footage and are carrying out extensive witness enquiries to establish if an offence has taken place.

“Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact centre quoting reference number 228 of 9 April 2022.”

The 37-year-old Ronaldo later took to his Instagram account to apologise.

He said: “It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing.

“Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.

“I would like to apologise for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship.”

Manchester United confirmed they were aware of the matter.

A club spokesperson said in a statement: “We are aware of an alleged incident after today’s game at Everton and the club will co-operate with any police inquiries.”

Anthony Gordon’s deflected shot handed Everton a priceless victory in their bid to avoid relegation while at the same time denting United’s hopes of a top-four finish.

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Cristiano Ronaldo produced a hat-trick to lift Manchester United into fourth place and himself top of FIFA’s all-time scorers’ list as Tottenham Hotspur were beaten in a 3-2 thriller at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo arrowed in a stunning long-range shot to give the hosts a 12th-minute lead.

Harry Kane’s penalty drew Spurs level on 35 minutes after Alex Telles had handled Dejan Kulusevski’s cross.

Ronaldo restored Man Utd’s lead three minutes later, slotting in Jadon Sancho’s pass following a sweeping counter-attack.

Spurs levelled for a second time on 72 minutes when Sergio Reguilon’s cross was turned into his own net by Harry Maguire.

But with eight minutes remaining, Ronaldo superbly headed in a Telles centre to surpass the all-time goals record with his 807th career strike for club and country.

It was also his second Premier League hat-trick, more than 14 years after his first at home to Newcastle United in January 2008.

A first win in three lifts Man Utd to fourth with 50 points.

Spurs are five points back in seventh, having played two matches fewer.

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Cristiano Ronaldo ended his six-game goal drought on Tuesday as Manchester United recovered from an insipid first-half display to beat 10-man Brighton 2-0 and clamber back into the Premier League top four. The match dramatically changed complexion early in the second half, with Ronaldo scoring his first goal in 2022 before Lewis Dunk was sent off three minutes later.

But the home side still managed to make heavy weather of the situation, wasting a number of great chances to double their lead until Bruno Fernandes sealed the points deep into stoppage time. Ralf Rangnick’s team had blown half-time leads to draw 1-1 in their previous three matches in all competitions, dropping crucial points in the league and exiting the FA Cup on penalties.

In his pre-match interviews, United’s interim manager had spoken about how he wanted his team to be more like Dr Jekyll and less like his literary evil alter ego Mr Hyde.

The German said after the match he had seen both sides of his team, who have struggled to find consistency and fluency under his stewardship.

“First half was Mr Hyde, second half Dr Jekyll and for a change it (the result) was different,” he said. “In the end it was important to get the three points against an in-form team.”

Rangnick praised 37-year-old Ronaldo, who returned to the scoresheet for the first time since December 30.

“Very important not only that he scored but it was an outstanding goal,” he said. “It was important for all of us, but his overall performance was one of the best since I arrived here.”

Forward Anthony Elanga and midfielder Fred came into United’s starting line-up for Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, with defender Raphael Varane also missing out due to illness.

Jadon Sancho was denied early on but the hosts created precious little as mid-table Brighton controlled the game, enjoying nearly 60 percent of possession in the first half.

David de Gea was forced to make a spectacular save to keep out a Jakub Moder header and the half-time whistle drew boos from a frustrated home crowd, with United fortunate to be level at 0-0.

The home side took the lead in the 51st minute when Scott McTominay found Ronaldo, who darted forwards, cutting past Adam Webster and firing beyond goalkeeper Robert Sanchez from the edge of the box.

It was the Portugal forward’s 15th goal since he returned to United from Juventus in August.

Things got dramatically better for United minutes later as Elanga’s pace caught out Dunk, who brought down the teenager.

Things got dramatically better for United minutes later as Elanga’s pace caught out Dunk, who brought down the teenager.

Referee Peter Bankes showed a yellow card to the Brighton captain, only to change it to red after reviewing the foul on the advice of the video assistant referee.

United were now on top but they failed to kill off the game despite their man advantage.

They almost paid for their profligacy when Moder beat De Gea but he saw his shot cannon back off the crossbar in the 78th minute and ex-United player Danny Welbeck flashed a late header high as the home fans breathed a sigh of relief.

United wrapped up the victory in the 97th minute when substitute Pogba took a quick free-kick and Fernandes collected the ball inside his own half and raced forward before firing home.

The three points lift United into the fourth Champions League qualification spot, two points ahead of West Ham and four behind third-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

Arsenal, Wolves and Tottenham are also within striking distance of the top four and all have games in hand.

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Ronaldo wants to play for another ‘four or five’ years

Cristiano Ronaldo has said he hopes to play for another “four or five years” despite turning 37 next month.

The Manchester United forward received the FIFA Best Special Award at a ceremony in Zurich on Monday in recognition of breaking the world record for international goals in September last year previously held by Iran’s Ali Daei (109), with Ronaldo now on 115 goals for Portugal.

When asked by event co-host Jermaine Jenas about his “obsession” with the game and where it could take him, Ronaldo said he still has the same love for football as he did when he was younger, and gave an idea as to how long he intends to keep playing.

“I still have the passion for the game. Not just to score goals,” Ronaldo said. “It’s to entertain myself, because I have played football since I was five, six years old.

“When I go to the pitch, even in training, I still enjoy [it] and my motivation is still there. Even [though] I’m going to be 37 soon, I feel good, I feel motivated.

“I keep working hard, since 18 years old, and I continue. I love the game, I still have that passion and I want to continue.

“People ask me sometimes how many years more I am going to play, and I say I hope to play four or five years more.

“It’s all about mentally, because I think physically if you treat your body good, when you need your body, it will give it back to you, so this is what I do.”

Ronaldo has scored 14 goals in 22 games for United in all competitions since making a dramatic return to Old Trafford at the start of the current season, but recently indicated frustration at the recent form of the team.

The Red Devils currently sit seventh in the Premier League table, five points off fourth-placed West Ham and 24 points behind top of the table Manchester City, though with two games in hand over both.

Talking to Sky Sports last week, the former Real Madrid and Juventus marksman said: “I don’t accept that our mentality be less than being in the top three in the Premier League.

“I think to build up good things, sometimes you have to destroy a few things. So why not – new year, new life and I hope that we can be the level that the fans want. They deserve that.

“We are capable of changing things now. I know the way but I’m not going to mention it here because I don’t think it’s ethical on my part to say that.

“What I can say is we can do better – all of us. Manchester United belongs to important things, so we have to change that.

“I don’t want to be here to be in sixth place, or seventh place, or fifth place. I’m here to try to win, to compete.

“I think we compete but we are not yet in our best level. But we have a long way to improve and I believe if we change our mind, we can achieve big things.”

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Ronaldo penalty gives Red Devils win

Cristiano Ronaldo’s controversial penalty gave Ralf Rangnick a second successive Premier League win as Manchester United claimed an unconvincing 1-0 victory at Norwich.

United laboured for long periods at a sodden Carrow Road but were given a chance to break an unexpectedly long deadlock when Max Aarons was adjudged to have pulled down Ronaldo.

The Portugal forward stepped up to convert the spot-kick 15 minutes from time, his emphatic finish proving the difference despite a spirited effort from the league’s bottom club.

United are fifth, level on points with fourth-placed West Ham but with an inferior goal difference, while Norwich remain three points adrift of safety.

Alex Telles saw a free-kick deflected onto the crossbar, but United struggled to break down the division’s leakiest defence in the first half and were frustrated by Tim Krul in the Norwich goal.

Ronaldo was thwarted by a diving save from the Dutchman while Harry Maguire saw a header tipped over in the closing stages of the first 45 minutes.

Norwich provided more of an attacking threat in the second half and only a flying save from David de Gea prevented Teemu Pukki from firing the opener into the top-left corner.

But they were left aghast when Darren England pointed to the spot despite Ronaldo appearing to go down easily under contact from Aarons.

There was no doubt about Ronaldo’s effort from 12 yards, which he lashed into the bottom-left corner – two stunning saves from De Gea to deny Ozan Kabak and the kind of United defending that was often lacking during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure ensuring it was enough for all three points.

United were far from convincing and Norwich could consider themselves unlucky not to get a share of the spoils.

While there is clearly a lot of work still to be done, United have two league wins under Rangnick without conceding a goal, albeit against Crystal Palace and Norwich. Ernest Mangnall in 1903 was the only other United manager to keep a clean sheet in his first two league matches.

That is legitimate progress for a team who were porous towards the end of Solskjaer’s reign.

With his penalty, Ronaldo became only the third United player to score for three different managers in the same season, having done so for Solskjaer, Michael Carrick and now Rangnick this term. James Hanson and Joe Spence both did so in the 1926-27 campaign.

He could have had a second late on but somehow scooped an effort over the bar from point-blank range.

De Gea kept his 200th career clean sheet and the fact United needed him to produce five saves to seal the points was indicative of the struggle this game was for Rangnick’s men.

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Vlahovic speculation set aside after Fiorentina forward closes on Ronaldo record

Dusan Vlahovic’s remarkable goalscoring feats continued on Saturday – and so too did discussion about his Fiorentina future.

Vlahovic netted twice in a 4-0 Serie A win over Salernitana to at least temporarily move Fiorentina up to fifth.

The team the Viola leapfrogged – Juventus, in action later on Saturday – have been hotly tipped to make a January move for the forward, who is quickly closing on a mark set by former Bianconeri man Cristiano Ronaldo.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo scored 33 Serie A goals in 2020, the most of any player in a single calendar year in the past 60 seasons.

After this brace, Vlahovic has 32 in 2021 with two league games remaining, passing ex-Fiorentina forward Luca Toni’s 31 in 2005.

Juve are not the only team said to have been attracted by this sensational form, but vice-chairman Pavel Nedved – speaking ahead of the game against Venezia – was reluctant to discuss Vlahovic at this stage.

“We have to think about making our current players perform and trusting these players,” Nedved told DAZN. “They are strong players.

“We have a lot of young people and if they improve we can do well. Some work in January is not impossible but now let’s think about our players.”

Similarly, in his news conference, Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano did not want to consider fears Vlahovic could leave.

“Right now I’m not afraid of anything except doing well in the last three games,” he said. “The goal is to do great things, even though I’ve never mentioned the word Europe. We want to keep this position.

“In the hug he gave me, Vlahovic reminded me that we managed to score goals in a situation we practised in training.”

Italiano preferred to reflect on Fiorentina’s improvement in front of goal, having now won five consecutive home games while scoring three or more goals for the first time since 1960.

That run has led to 21 goals in eight home games – Fiorentina’s best such start since 1960-61 (22 in eight) – with Vlahovic contributing to more than half of them, scoring 10 and assisting two.

Home and away, the 21-year-old has 15 goals through the first 17 games of the season, making him the youngest player to achieve that feat since both Jose Altafini and Antonio Valentin Angelillo in 1958-59.

Alberto Gilardino in 2008 was the last Fiorentina player to score in five straight, as Vlahovic has done.

“There was a moment in the season when we weren’t able to reach our forwards well,” Italiano said. “Now we can supply them. Having a striker with 15 goals is a huge satisfaction for us.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo reached 800 career goals as his brace secured Manchester United a much-needed victory against Arsenal as interim manager Ralf Rangnick saw his new side triumph from the stands.

A lot has changed at Old Trafford since their last home game 26 days ago, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer losing his job after that loss to Manchester City was compounded by a shocking defeat at Watford.

United coach Michael Carrick has steadied the ship during an unbeaten three-match caretaker stint that ended with an entertaining 3-2 victory against Arsenal at a bouncing Old Trafford.

It was only their second win in nine Premier League games and a timely shot in the arm ahead of Rangnick’s first game in charge against Crystal Palace this Sunday.

The German has signed a deal until the end of the season and Thursday’s match will have given him food for thought, having seen the quality and ongoing concerns first hand from the directors’ box.

Finding a way to keep clean sheets will be key if this season is to be a success for United, although there was little that could be done to prevent Emile Smith Rowe’s bizarre opener.

David De Gea was rolling around in pain when the Arsenal youngster struck, with the VAR instructing referee Martin Atkinson to award the goal as it was the Spaniard’s team-mate Fred that hurt the goalkeeper.

Bruno Fernandes, making his 100th United appearance, levelled before half-time, with Ronaldo turning home Marcus Rashford’s cross to bring up 800 goals for club and country early in the second half.

But Arsenal took just two minutes to bring this helter-skelter clash back level as Martin Odegaard found the net with a low finish – good work undone 16 minutes later by his rash challenge on Fred inside the box.

Atkinson awarded the penalty after the VAR advised he watch the pitchside monitor, with Ronaldo keeping his cool in front of the Stretford End to lash home what proved to be the winner.