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Ralf Rangnick heaps praise on Cristiano Ronaldo after Norwich hat-trick

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick heaped praise on the performance of Cristiano Ronaldo during Saturday’s 3-2 Premier League win over Norwich City.

The Red Devils returned to winning ways against the Canaries, but their overall display was far from convincing. There were underlying defensive issues once again.

Ronaldo opened the scoring in the seventh minute before doubling the lead with a headed effort in the 32nd. However, the Canaries pulled level with goals from Kieran Dowell and Teemu Pukki.

The game seemed to be heading for a potential stalemate, but Ronaldo made the difference once more. The Portuguese bagged his hat-trick with a trademark freekick, 14 minutes from time.

Speaking after the game, Rangnick was delighted for Ronaldo. The German tactician said that it was a ‘remarkable’ performance and he was the clear ‘difference maker’ against Dean Smith’s side.

He told Manutd.com: “Yes, it is remarkable. Especially the second and third goals were brilliant goals. He showed a lot of physicality with the header and he was quite like against Tottenham today, the difference maker.”

Ronaldo has been far from his best since the turn of the year, but he has come up with two crucial hat-tricks against Tottenham and Norwich that have directly contributed to victories.

The latter of those has brought them within three points off fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion in Saturday’s early kick-off.

United may now feel they have a genuine chance of qualifying for the Champions League, but there is still plenty of work to be done. They have a tough midweek outing at Liverpool.

Rangnick will be hoping the Red Devils can get something out of the game at Anfield. The players should go into the game with confidence, but they must improve their defensive showing.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com

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