Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second hat-trick in three Premier League games as Manchester United beat relegation-threatened Norwich at Old Trafford to enhance their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to duty in style after losing to Everton last weekend and receiving a yellow card, scoring his second hat-trick since returning to England against Norwich City on March 16, 2022.
Ronaldo appeared to have placed United in command when he scored twice in the first 32 minutes, knowing that a win would put them within three points of the top four.
However, poor defense from the hosts both before and after the break allowed Norwich to equalize through Kieran Dowell and Teemu Pukki, and Dean Smith’s side appeared the more likely winners for a time.
Watch Third Goal Below:
However, 14 minutes from time, Ronaldo smashed a free-kick home off the inside of a post to secure victory after Ralf Rangnick had abandoned his brave plan of playing without a renowned ball-winner in midfield and substituted Paul Pogba with Juan Mata.
The 37-year-old has 15 Premier League goals this season, second only to Mo Salah and Son Heung-min in the table. He has also scored 99 Premier League goals in his career.
If United beat Liverpool on Tuesday, they will draw level on points with fourth-placed Spurs.
The result dealt a severe blow to Norwich’s slim chances of avoiding relegation. With two games remaining, the Canaries are now seven points behind fourth-placed Everton, with only six games remaining to make up ground.
The 37-year-old star single-handedly led the Red Devils to a crucial 3-2 victory over Norwich City to keep their top-four ambitions alive.
This was Ronaldo’s 60th hat-trick, and only his second in a Manchester United shirt. The last time he scored three goals in a game for Manchester United was against Tottenham Hotspur on March 12, 2022.
He has 44 hat-tricks to his name for Real Madrid, three for Juventus, and ten for Portugal.
His adversary Lionel Messi, the all-time leading hat-trick scorer, is a close second with 54 hat-tricks in his career.
Only Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have ever scored more than 50 hat-tricks in their careers. They are followed by Robert Lewandowski (29 hat-tricks) and Luis Suarez (21 hat-tricks).
Let’s take a look at the top ten players who have scored the most hat-tricks in their professional careers.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United||60|
|Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||29|
|Luis Suarez||Atletico Madrid||21|
|Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||18|
|Zlatan Ibrahimovic||AC Milan||17|
|Edinson Cavani||Manchester United||15|
|Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||FC Barcelona||12|