Ronaldo nets first Europa League goal as United beats Sheriff

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates after scoring their team's second goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League group E match between Sheriff Tiraspol and Manchester United at Stadionul Sheriff on September 15, 2022 in Tiraspol, Moldova. 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first Europa League goal of his career to help Manchester United rebound from an opening loss in the second-tier competition with a 2-0 victory over Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday.

The Champions League record scorer converted from the spot after Jadon Sancho gave United a 1-0 lead in Moldova. It was the 37-year-old Ronaldo’s first goal of the season and 699th in club competition.

“Happy to score and help the team win! 3 important points!” Ronaldo tweeted.

After failing to secure a transfer to a club in the Champions League – where he’s scored 141 goals – the Portugal striker had to settle for playing in the Europa League for the first time since 2002 with Sporting Lisbon.

Ronaldo was given a second straight start, including last week’s 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford, after he was used as a substitute in four straight wins by United in the Premier League.

Last weekend’s Premier League games were postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Arsenal, another favorite of the competition, had its game against PSV Eindhoven postponed from Thursday to Oct. 20 because of limited police resources in London during preparations for the queen’s state funeral.

Though Chelsea’s Champions League game against Salzburg went ahead Wednesday, the visit of a large group of PSV fans traveling from the Netherlands proved more challenging.

Real Betis beat Bulgarian team Ludogorets 3-2 for its second straight win while Jose Mourinho’s Roma bounced back from a surprising loss to Ludogorets last week by cruising 3-0 past 10-man HJK Helsinki.

Feyenoord recorded its first win by routing Sturm Graz 6-0, Freiburg won 3-0 at Olympiacos for its second victory, and Monaco was upset 1-0 at home by Hungary’s Ferencvaros.

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