The night was set for Ronaldo to come out as the most important figure of the encounter. The â€˜50% representative of Manchester Unitedâ€™s powerâ€™ â€“ as Marcos Senna said a couple of months ago â€“ was the starring man in last nightâ€™s entertaining goalless draw in Spain.
While his opposite duellist Senna had to come off in the dressing room due to injury, Cristiano Ronaldo â€“ who had fitness worries before the game â€“ played the entire match.
The Portuguese winger displayed an excellent performance in front of the many Spanish supporters and the few Manchester United fans that were present in the stadium. Manchester Unitedâ€™s best chance to break the deadlock came through Ronaldo in the first half. The talismanic number 7 fired the ball on target only for it to be deflected on the crossbar by Diego Lopezâ€™s fingertips.
Ronaldo kept testing Villarealâ€™s cautious defence with his pace, tricks and good shots. Marcos Sennaâ€™s absence in midfield in the second period gave Ronaldo more availability to dominate on the field and create problems for his opponents.
The â€˜diverâ€™ as people call him, was the victim of reckless tackles and had to deal with the pressure and provocation that Villarealâ€™s fans and team caused.
Cameras caught one of Villarealâ€™s players putting his fingernails in Ronaldoâ€™s neck; the Italian referee could only avoid a fight between the irritated Star winger and the guilty defender, but no yellow card was shown to the Yellow Submarine in respect of Ronaldo.
However, Villareal finally had their reward ten minutes from time for committing too many fouls, when Capdevilaâ€™s strong challenge caught Ronaldoâ€™s knee. The referee did not hesitate to show the Spanish international a red card.
Cristiano Ronaldo had to get treatment on the sidelines but was able to continue the game minutes later.
At the relief of Manchester United fans, there have been no major injury reports concerning Ronaldo. The EPL defending champions play their local rivals Manchester City on Sunday at lunch time and Ronaldo could have the chance of preparing a good meal when he faces two other Brazilians â€“ Robinho and Elano â€“ in a pay-back situation.
Written by: Angela Asante