Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal of the season and first-ever goal in the Europa League as Manchester United beat Sheriff Tiraspol 2-0 in Moldova on Thursday.
Ronaldo, who has not started in the Premier League since United’s 4-0 loss to Brentford on Aug. 13, made no mistake when converting a 39th-minute penalty after Diogo Dalot was fouled in the box.
By that point, the visitors were already a goal to the good. Jadon Sancho put United on the path to victory with a smart finish after 17 minutes.
The goal was Sancho’s third of the season and came on the day he was omitted from Gareth Southgate’s final England squad before the World Cup.
The win was much-needed for Erik ten Hag’s side after they lost their Europa League opener 1-0 at home to Real Sociedad last week. United now sit second behind the LaLiga side in Group E, ahead of their double-header against Cypriot side Omonia Nicosia.
Sancho could have had a second goal for himself shortly before Ronaldo doubled the lead but Sheriff defender Stjepan Radeljic denied him with a fine sliding clearance off the goal line.
Man United did not have things all their own way, however, against the champions of Moldova. Sheriff acquitted themselves well in the early going and came close to an equalizer when forward Iyayi Atiemwen drilled a 25-yard shot just wide of David de Gea’s post.