Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Battered Ronaldo Back in the Wars

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Battered Ronaldo Back in the Wars

Article excerpt

Villarea l0

Manchester United 0

CRISTIANO Ronaldo was the centre of attention as Manchester United confirmed their place in the next stage of the Champions League.

For the second successive match, the Portugal winger had to endure some stiff challenges. He was left with cuts on his ankle at the weekend in the 0-0 draw against Aston Villa.

Then last night he was the victim of a high challenge from Joan Capdevila that saw the Villarreal man dismissed with seven minutes to go.

Ronaldo had come closest to making the breakthrough in the first half but his effort was tipped onto the bar by Diego Lopez.

He certainly showed no ill-effects from the ankle problem he suffered at Villa and Villarreal had trouble containing him.

But for the fourth successive match these teams played out a goalless draw.

United looked the more assured of the two sides throughout the game but it took them until the 41st minute before they made a real impact.

There was a scare for Villarreal at the start when Anderson delivered a ball from the left but it was punched away by Lopez as Wayne Rooney waited to pounce on any mistake.

Ronaldo was angered in the seventh minute after tussling with Ariel Ibagaza and both players were spoken to by referee Roberto Rosetti. Ibagaza, however, had appeared to dig his nails into Ronaldo's neck.

Villarreal then carved out a good chance in the 17th minute and Tomasz Kuszczak had to show good reactions to beat away a shot from distance from Santi Cazorla.

Ronaldo was left on the floor 10 minutes later after a stiff challenge from Javi Venta which saw him booked.

The United winger sent a 25-yard freekick into the arms of the goalkeeper.

Ronaldo then chested the ball back to Darren Fletcher in the 35th minute but again Lopez was able to make a comfortable save. United almost took the lead in the 41st minute when Rooney laid the ball off to Ronaldo with an exquisite touch. …

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