Ten Hag reveals why other Man United players left penalty duty for Ronaldo

The 37-year-old scored his first goal in eight appearances this season and the 699th of his club career from the penalty spot at Sheriff Tiraspol.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates goal against Sheriff Tiraspol

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag have reacted to Cristiano Ronaldo opening his goal account this season, following a penalty he converted in their 2-0 win in their UEFA Europa League game against Sheriff Tiraspol.

The goal, United's second of the game after Jadon Sancho had opened the scoring in the 17th minute, was the 37-year-old's first goal in eight appearances this season and the 699th of his club career.

Sancho's goal and Ronaldo's penalty in the 2-0 win in Moldova also meant that Ten Hag's side earned their first points in the Europa League, after an opening-day defeat at home to Real Sociedad.

Speaking after the victory, Ten Hag stated Ronaldo "needed a goal" and the team wanted to do everything to get him one.

"Ronaldo needed that goal. Many times he came close [in the season so far], but he wanted that so much," said Ten Hag.

"We are happy for him and the team wanted to bring him a goal. You know that Cristiano will score a penalty."

After losing their first against Real Sociedad, United got up and running in the competition they won in 2017, with the former Ajax manager singling out Sancho for praises.

"I'm really pleased [for Jadon], another goal, and he scored already many goals in his pre-season, and I think he has three in the season," said Ten Hag.

"He's doing well. But I think there's much more room for improvement for him, because he has so many skills. Bring him on the pitch when he has that belief, and he can improve even more."

"The opponent played really direct, went for the second balls. And they won too many in the first minutes. But after a certain period we played better.

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