Solskjaer never gave up hope during Man Utd's Villarreal win, saying ‘when you have Cristiano Ronaldo you have a chance’

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER said he never lost hope against Villarreal because Manchester United had Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese star scored in the dying seconds to hand United a dramatic 95th-minute win at Old Trafford in the Champions League.


Ronaldo, 36, had barely done anything in the game until he stole the headlines at the death.

United were drawing 1-1 after Alex Telles' sumptuous volley had cancelled out Paco Alcacer's deserved opener.

They had the phenomenal David De Gea to thank for keeping them in the game and could have been several goals down if it wasn't for the Spaniard.

But as the clock ticked into the sixth minute of stoppage time, Fred looped a ball in, Ronaldo cushioned it down to Jesse Lingard, he drew the goalkeeper and defenders to him, poked it back to Ronaldo and CR7 drilled it into the net.

There was pandemonium at Old Trafford but Solskjaer reckons his side always had a chance with the former Real Madrid ace on the pitch.

The Norwegian said: "We all know the Champions League at Old Trafford is magic, and sometimes that history can help us.

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“Sometimes it is not about passes here or there, it is about the crowd and the Stretford End has sucked a few in before, I know that.

"That is probably what happened.

“That is what happens here at Old Trafford, it’s happened so many times before.

"We have to throw caution to the wind and we got lucky in the end.

“They are very tough to beat, but when you have Cristiano on the pitch you always have a chance.”

Ronaldo tore his shirt off when celebrating his goal and revealed a pair of his own brand pants.

But eagle-eyed fans noticed an error in the stitching.

The Portuguese forward had endured an off night on his Champions League return to Old Trafford.

He broke Iker Casillas' record for Champions League appearances – 178.

And the late strike was his 136th in the competition.

He also texted his old team-mate Rio Ferdinand after the match.

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Ferdinand revealed what his old pal Ronaldo wrote to him in the immediate aftermath.

The BT Sport pundit said: "He (Ronaldo) text me tonight saying 'I didn't play well but I knew I'd score'.

"That's the belief that he has. The other players are feeding off it. It's a great place to be."

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