CRISTIANO RONALDO ended his worst goal drought for 16 years after firing in a penalty against Sheriff Tiraspol.
The strike was Ronaldo’s first ever goal in the Europa League and gave Manchester United a comfortable 2-0 lead in Moldova.
It was also his first club goal for eight games, having last found the net against Brentford in May.
Incredibly, it is the longest spell the Portuguese has gone without a goal since 2006, when he went ten games without finding the target for United between March and May.
Since then CR7 has scored with remarkable consistency and is now just one goal shy of 700 career club goals.
Sheriff are the 124th side Ronaldo has scored against and even his team-mates were excited with the effort – Scott McTominay was caught mouthing Ronaldo’s famous ‘Siuu’ celebration after the goal.
Ronaldo’s team-mates continue to show him support despite believing he could be on the move in January.
The striker was heavily linked with a summer exit due to his desire to play in the Champions League but a willing suitor could not be found.
Erik ten Hag claims the 37-year-old is committed to the project at Old Trafford and expects the goals to flow now Ronaldo has broken his drought.
Ten Hag said after the win against Sheriff: “We could expect this when you miss pre-season, he has to work really hard and invest to get the right fitness.
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“He will score more goals. He’s really close, when he gets more fitness he will score more.
“He’s totally committed to this project, totally committed to this team, totally involved, you also see connections that are coming around him on the pitch and he is constructing connections so I’m happy with that.”
Ronaldo could also be encouraged to stay by the news of Ten Hag being given a £70million war chest to upgrade his squad in January.
Ten Hag missed out on a number of long-term targets over the summer, most notably Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona.
The Dutch midfielder is still high on his wishlist, and a move in January hasn’t been ruled out with the Spanish giants’ finances still an issue.