By scoring a brilliant goal against Liverpool which sent the Anfield team throttling to a humiliating defeat, Cristiano Ronaldo could have finally answered all those who wondered about his ability to shine on the highest level in soccer. Manchester United against Liverpool is a huge game. Before the match begun that had two of the biggest rivalries in English soccer, there had been a lot of focus on Ronaldo as many questioned if he could play as well against the Big Four compared to the likes of Bolton Wanderers or Reading. With only one goal in all games against the Big Four prior to meeting Liverpool, those were damning statistics and seemed to justify many critics of the young Portuguese player from the time he has spent in the English Premier League.
Yet the same critics have forgotten the goals and openings his teammates have collected in those games as a result of his involvement. Ronaldo receives a lot of attention from Manchester United’s biggest opponents, by virtue of his talent and what he has achieved. This results in tight marking of the player and a lack of time with the ball. But without the ball, he has been able to contribute to the wins carved out by the team as a whole.
Teammates like Wayne Rooney would find themselves with more space, and that often allowed them to create other opportunities for the rest to capitalize on. Rooney often found space against Liverpool and could have scored many goals, and this arose from situations where two or more men were marking Ronaldo. The end results often meant the less recognized players had freedom of the park and catastrophic goals which opponents conceded.
Cristiano Ronaldo does not just score goals, he also creates chances for other players and does this partly by distracting defenders while teammates find the time and space to wreck havoc on their rivals. There is no coincidence that players like Wes Brown and Michael Carrick have tasted the sweet sensation of bagging important goals in crucial matches. Ronaldo will always remain a threat, whether he flies down the wing at top speed, or seem to remain largely anonymous. Opponents would be well-advised not to ignore that.