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Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 50th career hat-trick as Manchester United capitalize on Tottenham defeat by beating Norwich to revive hopes of Champions League qualification


Cristiano Ronaldo scored a second consecutive hat-trick at Old Trafford, and the 50th of his career as Manchester United beat Norwich 3-2.

The Portuguese striker earned his third with a superb late free-kick as the Premier League side capitalized on Tottenham’s loss to Brighton.

This superb free kick from Ronaldo won the game
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Although it has been a difficult season for the Old Trafford side, there is still light at the end of the tunnel for them.

Following Spurs’ 1-0 loss to Brighton, the Red Devils knew a win would put them within three points, with six games remaining.

And despite the protests that occurred in the game and off the pitch, where Man United fans described their anger at the Glazer family, the players remained professional on the pitch and got the job done.

It was the perfect start for Ralf Rangnick’s team, but hopefully.

Playing at the back, Norwich defender Ben Gibson was stripped by Anthony Elanga who had the simple task of passing the ball through the box for Ronaldo to virtually enter.

Although the Red Devils were well worth their lead, they weren’t comfortable in the game, and on the counter-attack the Canaries should have done more to test the hosts’ goal.

But they couldn’t do it and midway through the second half Ronaldo doubled his goalscoring tally.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 50th career hat-trick as Manchester United capitalize on Tottenham defeat by beating Norwich to revive hopes of Champions League qualification
Even though his eyes were closed, Ronaldo couldn’t miss
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Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 50th career hat-trick as Manchester United capitalize on Tottenham defeat by beating Norwich to revive hopes of Champions League qualification
There were thousands of protests in the first exchanges of the match, and in the ground, Man United supporters sang in protest against the Glazers
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From an Alex Telles corner, Ronaldo pulled away from Gibson and, in typical fashion, buried his header in the bottom left corner past Tim Krul.

While the hosts deserved the two-goal lead, they were never comfortable as Norwich showed great character to get back into the competition.

Finding his way into the left side of the penalty area, Pukki had time and space to weigh his options and delivered a perfect cross to the far post where Kieran Dowell had the simple task of passing David De Gea.

Ahead of the match, the Everton academy product spoke to talkSPORT and said there could be a ‘shakeup’ on the cards when his side face Manchester United in their next game.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 50th career hat-trick as Manchester United capitalize on Tottenham defeat by beating Norwich to revive hopes of Champions League qualification
As soon as Ronaldo made contact with the ball, it looked very likely that he would end up in the net
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Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 50th career hat-trick as Manchester United capitalize on Tottenham defeat by beating Norwich to revive hopes of Champions League qualification
Dowell and co. but weren’t ready to throw in the towel
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And even if his side didn’t live up to his words, he certainly did by putting his team back in the game and then providing a great assist for the Finnish striker.

The 24-year-old hadn’t scored or assisted in the league this season until today but chose one of the best grounds to find his goalscoring touch.

Things could have gone even better for the bottom of the Premier League as De Gea was forced to make some good saves.

But they couldn’t take any risks, and with Ronaldo on the pitch, the hosts still had a chance to win the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 50th career hat-trick as Manchester United capitalize on Tottenham defeat by beating Norwich to revive hopes of Champions League qualification
Pukki showed excellent composure to score his 10th league goal of the season
Getty

More soon.

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