Cristiano Ronaldo needed just one half of football to get back among the goals for Manchester United, with the Portuguese superstar netting a double on his second debut for the club.
It looked like being a frustrating opening 45 minutes for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner against Newcastle, but Old Trafford erupted in stoppage-time when the deadlock was finally broken.
The vast majority of those in attendance were there to witness the return of a prodigal son, and he did not disappoint when giving the masses what they wanted.
How did Ronaldo’s goal come about?
The 36-year-old, who was handed a started berth by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer , took a while to get his eye back in after 12 years away from a Premier League stage.
A couple of half-chances passed him by early on, with one wild swing with his left foot drawing ironic cheers and a knowing smile from United’s No.7.
He was, however, to show in the closing stages of the first half that he has lost none of his touch in front of goal.
Mason Greenwood drifted inside off the right flank and hit a hopeful shot that took the slightest of deflections.
That was enough to put Newcastle keeper Freddie Woodman off and he could only spill the ball to the feet of Ronaldo, who reacted quickest inside the six-yard box for a tap-in.
When was Ronaldo’s last Premier League goal?
Ronaldo hit 84 Premier League goals for United during his first stint with the club.
The last of those came in a derby date with Manchester City on May 10, 2009.
Some 12 years later and an all-time great is back in the groove, with Newcastle unable to contain his very obvious threat.
They did restore parity in the 56th minute through Javier Manquillo, but they were not level for long.
What was Ronaldo’s second goal like?
With Solskjaer’s side looking for a hero to step up on a day that a wave of optimism poured down from the stands, Ronaldo was – as is often the case – the man to step up.
He was given another helping hand by Woodman when grabbing his second of the game in the 62nd minute, but he and the rest of his team-mates cared little about that.
Ronaldo was sent racing through on goal by Luke Shaw, with a perfectly weighted pass taking him into the area.
He got his head down and fired goalwards with his left boot, with the ball slipping between Woodman’s legs and into the back of the net.
There was also still time for Ronaldo’s Portugal team-mate to get in on the act.
Bruno Fernandes curled home a brilliant effort from long range to put the game beyond doubt, before Jesse Lingard netted deep into injury time to make it 4-1 and ensure that Ronaldo’s second ‘debut’ would finish on a high note in front of an elated Old Trafford.