Thursday, January 31, 2008

United Beat Portsmouth 2-0

NO matter how you assess Cristiano Ronaldo's goalscoring figures this season, they are phenomenal.

The Madeiran magician has already scored nine goals in 2008, 21 goals in the last 16 matches and 19 Premier League goals for the season - despite not hitting a league goal until the end of September.

After 13 minutes, he might have thought about betting on Ronaldo to match the double hat-trick Bestie scored in the FA Cup at Northampton in 1970.

Ronaldo's first came courtesy of one of many superb passes from Paul Scholes. Ronaldo chested it down to Nani, who immediately whipped the ball forward as the Portuguese wonder turned his marker and raced clear.

The cool finish was typical of a man in form as he passed the ball beyond James and inside the near post.

If that was delicate, his second was devastating as he crashed a free-kick into the top right hand corner with James frozen on the spot.

While Ronaldo is compiling his exceptional figures, Rooney - the man who shared the top scorer accolade with him last term - can't get anywhere near.

But there can be no complaints about the physical strength and determination he produced to keep United buzzing against Portsmouth.

But for a lob that didn't quite come off after 55 minutes, Rooney might have been on the scoresheet in front of England boss Fabio Capello.

When Rooney was substituted in the 73rd minute, the Italian made his exit too. Ronaldo headed for the bench at the same time and must have been puzzled as to how he went an hour after his first two without scoring again.

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