After months of speculation, Manchester United have confirmed Erik ten Hag will take over as the club's new manager at the end of another frustrating season at Old Trafford.

The 52-year-old will have a huge job on his hands when he arrives this summer, with the Red Devils looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League after struggling under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick this term.

High up on Ten Hag's to-do list will be deciding who amongst the current squad will be suited to playing his high-pressing, possession-based style of football.

Here, Stats Perform uses Opta-powered data to give an insight into three players who could impress under the Dutchman, and three who may find their days numbered after his arrival…

Who might star under Ten Hag?

Donny Van de Beek

An easy choice. Van de Beek emerged as a star under Ten Hag's tutelage at Ajax, and was a driving force being the Amsterdam giants' terrific run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19. Installed as a creative midfielder alongside Frenkie de Jong, Van de Beek scored three goals and provided two assists during that famous run, with only Dusan Tadic (six) outscoring him for Ajax in the competition.

Having played a paltry 381 minutes for United across 14 appearances this season before being sent on loan to Everton in January, the 25-year-old looks the most obvious player to benefit from the arrival of his former coach

Jadon Sancho

Another player likely to thrive under Ten Hag is England winger Jadon Sancho, who has registered five goals and three assists in 37 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils since moving from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

Only Bruno Fernandes (98) has created more open-play chances for United this term than Sancho (47), and he definitely stands to benefit from the arrival of a coach whose teams play with genuine width.

Each of Tadic (15), Antony (12), and Steven Berghuis (11) have reached double figures for Eredivisie goals for Ajax this term, so their former coach could be the man to get the best of the England man.

Luke Shaw

Ten Hag's Ajax team deployed their full-backs as a key attacking threat, with Argentine left-back Nicolas Tagliafico netting three goals during 2018-19's Champions League run.

Amongst Premier League defenders, only Trent Alexander-Arnold created more than the 72 chances crafted by Red Devils left-back Shaw during the 2020-21 season, and the England man could rediscover that form if unleashed by United's new boss.

Who might see their position threatened?

Harry Maguire 

The United skipper has faced much criticism for his role in another poor campaign for the Red Devils, and could be the first big-name casualty of Ten Hag's attempts to install a more progressive style of play.

No United defender has made as many errors leading to shots as Maguire in the Premier League this term (three), while his passing accuracy of 86.37 per cent is marginally lower than those of fellow defenders Raphael Varane (87.47) and Victor Lindelof (86.63), potentially marking out the England man as ripe for a replacement.

David De Gea

When another possession-hungry coach arrived in Manchester back in 2016, one of his first moves involved finding a goalkeeper he could trust to participate as his team tried to build from the back.

That man, of course, was Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, and Ten Hag could look to replicate his acquisition of Ederson by replacing De Gea. The Spaniard has recorded a pass accuracy of just 68.81 per cent in the Premier League this season, way short of elite rivals Ederson (88.35) and Allison (85.22).

Cristiano Ronaldo

Hear us out on this one. The legendary striker's goalscoring prowess remains unrivalled, and his 21 goals in all competitions since returning to Old Trafford last summer put him a long way clear of his nearest team-mate (Bruno Fernandes with nine).

However, the height of Ten Hag's success at Ajax came with Tadic used as a false nine in 2018-19, recording 10 goal involvements (six goals, four assists) during their thrilling European run. 

Besides, with Ronaldo's 140 strikes placing him at the top of the Champions League's all-time top goalscoring charts, can the 37-year-old really be expected to forgo playing in European football's premier competition if United fail to qualify? If not, a potentially tough decision regarding his future could be taken out of Ten Hag's hands.

After months of speculation, Manchester United have confirmed Erik ten Hag will take over as the club's new manager at the end of another frustrating season at Old Trafford.

The 52-year-old will have a huge job on his hands when he arrives this summer, with the Red Devils looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League after struggling under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick this term.

High up on Ten Hag's to-do list will be deciding who amongst the current squad will be suited to playing his high-pressing, possession-based style of football.

Here, Stats Perform uses Opta-powered data to give an insight into three players who could impress under the Dutchman, and three who may find their days numbered after his arrival…

Who might star under Ten Hag?

Donny Van de Beek

An easy choice. Van de Beek emerged as a star under Ten Hag's tutelage at Ajax, and was a driving force being the Amsterdam giants' terrific run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19. Installed as a creative midfielder alongside Frenkie de Jong, Van de Beek scored three goals and provided two assists during that famous run, with only Dusan Tadic (six) outscoring him for Ajax in the competition.

Having played a paltry 381 minutes for United across 14 appearances this season before being sent on loan to Everton in January, the 25-year-old looks the most obvious player to benefit from the arrival of his former coach

Jadon Sancho

Another player likely to thrive under Ten Hag is England winger Jadon Sancho, who has registered five goals and three assists in 37 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils since moving from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

Only Bruno Fernandes (98) has created more open-play chances for United this term than Sancho (47), and he definitely stands to benefit from the arrival of a coach whose teams play with genuine width.

Each of Tadic (15), Antony (12), and Steven Berghuis (11) have reached double figures for Eredivisie goals for Ajax this term, so their former coach could be the man to get the best of the England man.

Luke Shaw

Ten Hag's Ajax team deployed their full-backs as a key attacking threat, with Argentine left-back Nicolas Tagliafico netting three goals during 2018-19's Champions League run.

Amongst Premier League defenders, only Trent Alexander-Arnold created more than the 72 chances crafted by Red Devils left-back Shaw during the 2020-21 season, and the England man could rediscover that form if unleashed by United's new boss.

Who might see their position threatened?

Harry Maguire 

The United skipper has faced much criticism for his role in another poor campaign for the Red Devils, and could be the first big-name casualty of Ten Hag's attempts to install a more progressive style of play.

No United defender has made as many errors leading to shots as Maguire in the Premier League this term (three), while his passing accuracy of 86.37 per cent is marginally lower than those of fellow defenders Raphael Varane (87.47) and Victor Lindelof (86.63), potentially marking out the England man as ripe for a replacement.

David De Gea

When another possession-hungry coach arrived in Manchester back in 2016, one of his first moves involved finding a goalkeeper he could trust to participate as his team tried to build from the back.

That man, of course, was Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, and Ten Hag could look to replicate his acquisition of Ederson by replacing De Gea. The Spaniard has recorded a pass accuracy of just 68.81 per cent in the Premier League this season, way short of elite rivals Ederson (88.35) and Allison (85.22).

Cristiano Ronaldo

Hear us out on this one. The legendary striker's goalscoring prowess remains unrivalled, and his 21 goals in all competitions since returning to Old Trafford last summer put him a long way clear of his nearest team-mate (Bruno Fernandes with nine).

However, the height of Ten Hag's success at Ajax came with Tadic used as a false nine in 2018-19, recording 10 goal involvements (six goals, four assists) during their thrilling European run. 

Besides, with Ronaldo's 140 strikes placing him at the top of the Champions League's all-time top goalscoring charts, can the 37-year-old really be expected to forgo playing in European football's premier competition if United fail to qualify? If not, a potentially tough decision regarding his future could be taken out of Ten Hag's hands.

The whole of Manchester United is behind Cristiano Ronaldo following the death of his baby son, says interim boss Ralf Rangnick. 

Ronaldo confirmed in a social media post on Monday that his baby son had passed away. 

He and his partner Georgina Rodriguez had been expecting twins. Their newborn daughter survived. 

Ronaldo was absent from United's Premier League meeting with Liverpool on Tuesday and Rangnick sent a message of support to the Portugal captain's family. 

"This is the worst thing that can happen. I'm the father of two sons myself, so I'm fully aware what that means," Rangnick told Sky Sports. 

"We're all behind him. We're all with him. We wish that him and his family are strong together." 

He added to the club's official media team: "It shows there are more important things in life than football. The whole club is with him. For me, it was clear that he was to be where he is now – with his family." 

United and Liverpool fans came together and applauded when the clock showed seven minutes in a show of support for Ronaldo.

Manchester United have confirmed a fan-led minutes' applause will be held during Tuesday's Premier League match with Liverpool after Cristiano Ronaldo announced the loss of his son.

The United striker and his partner Georgina Rodriguez were expecting twins, but Ronaldo confirmed in a social media post on Monday that his baby boy had passed away.

In the same post, he said the child's sister had survived.

While a club statement had already revealed the 37-year-old would not feature at Anfield, it has now been announced that fans of the two rival clubs will unite in a show of support for Ronaldo and his family seven minutes into the match, a nod to the forward's iconic number.

Both teams will also wear black armbands throughout the fixture, with Liverpool players joining Ronaldo's United team-mates in paying tribute.

"Fans of Manchester United and Liverpool will unite in support of Cristiano Ronaldo and his family at tonight's match between the two teams at Anfield," read a statement from the Red Devils on Tuesday.

"A fan-led minute's applause will be held in the seventh minute of the game in a tribute to the Portuguese striker and his partner Georgina, after they announced the loss of their newborn baby boy on Monday.

"Messages of support from across the football world are continually flooding in on social media and everybody's thoughts are with the Ronaldo family right now. 

"While United and Liverpool share English football's greatest rivalry, there is a deep-rooted respect held between the two clubs and that will be highlighted by the minute's applause, which was initially suggested by fans of the Merseyside team. 

"Ralf Rangnick's United squad led a request to wear black armbands at Anfield and that has been reciprocated by Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side."

Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo will be absent for the Premier League trip to Liverpool following the death of his son.

Ronaldo and his partner Georgina Rodriguez confirmed the loss of their son on Monday.

The pair were expecting twins, but United forward Ronaldo announced in a social media post that his baby boy had passed away, while the child's sister had survived.

"It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away," he wrote.

"It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel. Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness.

"We would like to thank the doctors and nurses for all their expert care and support. We are all devastated at this loss and we kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time. 

"Our baby boy, you are our angel. We will always love you."

Ralf Rangnick's side head to Anfield on Tuesday to face Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, and Ronaldo will not be present after the heart-breaking announcement.

"Family is more important than everything and Ronaldo is supporting his loved ones at this immensely difficult time," a United club statement read.

"As such, we can confirm that he will not feature in the match against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday evening and we underline the family's request for privacy.

"Cristiano, we are all thinking of you and sending strength to the family."

Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner Georgina Rodriguez have confirmed the death of their son.

Ronaldo and Rodriguez were expecting twins.

However, Ronaldo confirmed in a social media post on Monday that his baby boy had passed away. 

In the same post, Manchester United forward Ronaldo said the child's sister had survived.

"It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away," Ronaldo wrote.

"It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel. Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness.

"We would like to thank the doctors and nurses for all their expert care and support. We are all devastated at this loss and we kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time.

"Our baby boy, you are our angel. We will always love you."

Ralf Rangnick says Manchester United cannot afford to rely solely on Cristiano Ronaldo despite his match-winning hat-trick against Norwich City.

Ronaldo hit the 50th treble of his club career against the Canaries, guiding United into a 2-0 lead before sealing the victory with a free kick after the visitors had fought back to level the contest.

The legendary forward has hit 15 goals in 26 Premier League appearances this season, accounting for 28.8 per cent of the Red Devils' goals during a frustrating campaign.

Despite Ronaldo's treble moving United to within three points of fourth-placed Tottenham after both they and north London rivals Arsenal suffered surprise defeats, Rangnick was frustrated by his team's continued reliance on the 37-year-old.

The interim manager also expressed his annoyance at United's defensive display after Keiran Dowell and Teemu Pukki's strikes threatened a stunning turnaround at Old Trafford.

"It was the second time now [that Ronaldo hit a match-winning treble] like against Spurs with the same result, 3-2 like today," Rangnick told BBC Sport.

"But we should not only rely on him. 

"In general, offensively at times we played pretty well at times today, although in the first half sometimes we slowed the game down and didn't make use of the overlap situations on the wings, so even there we could have made more out of it.

"In general, in possession today was okay, a pretty good game, but defensively I was not happy at all."

Ronaldo has now hit 20 or more goals in all competitions in each of his past 16 club seasons, a run which began in 2006-07 during his previous spell at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, his set-piece winner represented the 58th direct free-kick goal of his career, and means only David Beckham (18) and James Ward-Prowse (13) have more such goals in the Premier League.

United's quest for Champions League qualification sees them face tough-looking fixtures against Liverpool and Arsenal during the coming week, and Rangnick asserted that his side would not get away with another poor defensive performance against a higher quality of opponent.

"After we scored the second goal, it should have made life easier for us," he added. "But it didn't, we lost our structure, we weren't aggressive enough. 

"Even before they scored their first goal, they had two or three transitional moments where they outnumbered us, which should not happen if you are 2-0 up.

"This is also a question of being clever, of being smart in moments like this. All of a sudden, it was 2-2 and David de Gea kept us in the game with a brilliant save, and with that brilliant free-kick from Cristiano we managed to get the three points.

"But we have to raise our game against the ball in the next three games."

With Manchester City and Liverpool facing off in the FA Cup on Saturday, the Premier League's attention turned to the race for a top-four spot.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Manchester United beat Norwich City 3-2, with the Red Devils taking full advantage of 1-0 defeats for Tottenham and Arsenal against Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton respectively.

Elsewhere, Watford's slim survival hopes were dealt a blow as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Brentford.  

Stats Perform takes a look at some key Opta facts from the day's games.

Manchester United 3-2 Norwich City: Ronaldo racks up yet another treble

Ralf Rangnick's side delivered another disjointed performance at Old Trafford, yet they did enough to secure a 13th win in their past 16 Premier League games against the Canaries.

Ronaldo was the star of the show, the Portuguese superstar plundering the 60th hat-trick of his professional career for club and country.

The 37-year-old has now scored 20 or more goals across all competitions in each of his past 16 seasons at club level – a run that started in the 2006-07 campaign during his first spell at United.

His first goal was teed up by Anthony Elanga, who is 17 years and 81 days younger than Ronaldo. It is the greatest age gap between a United goalscorer and the player who assisted him in Premier League history.

Teemu Pukki had given Norwich hope of a memorable result when he pulled the visitors level at 2-2 from 2-0 down, the Finland international becoming the first Canaries player to score 10 or more goals in two different Premier League campaigns (11 in 2019-20 and 10 in 2021-22).

As is so often the way, though, Ronaldo had the last word.

Tottenham 0-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls leave it late to edge out blunt hosts

Spurs missed the chance to strengthen their grip on fourth position as they suffered a third home defeat in their past six home Premier League games – as many as in their previous 14 on home soil.

Despite starting with the in-from trio of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski in attack, Spurs did not manage a single shot on target. It was the first time they had failed to do so in 21 Premier League games, since November last year against Everton.

Brighton's winner came in the 90th minute through Leandro Trossard, who has now scored six goals in the top flight this season – his best-ever season return in the competition.

Graham Potter's side have now won consecutive away league games for the first time since September 2021 and are unbeaten in three Premier League games, winning the last two, after losing each of the six before that.

Southampton 1-0 Arsenal: Wasteful Gunners punished by Saints

Arsenal missed the chance to pull level on points with Tottenham after a third consecutive Premier League defeat, having lost just two of their previous 13.

The Gunners dominated at St Mary's, taking 23 shots and enjoying 76 per cent possession. There have been 11 instances of a team failing to score having taken 20 or more shots in a Premier League match this season, with Arsenal responsible for three of those.

They were undone by Jan Bednarek's goal on the stroke of half-time, the first they have conceded from a corner situation in the top flight this season.

Bednarek has now scored four goals in 27 Premier League games this season, which is one more than he scored in his previous four campaigns combined (three in 100 appearances).

Watford 1-2 Brentford: Hornets' miserable home run continues

Pontus Jansson's 95th-minute winner for Brentford meant Watford became only the third team to lose 10 consecutive top-flight home games in a row, after Birmingham City in February 1986 and Sunderland in August 2005.

Alongside Birmingham, they are only the second to do so within a single season.

That run means Hornets boss Roy Hodgson is the first manager to lose his first five home Premier League games in charge of a club since Chris Ramsey with QPR in 2015.

Brentford, meanwhile, have won five of their last six Premier League games (L1) and have won three top-flight games in a row for the first time since September 1946.

Ralf Rangnick hit out at the Manchester United supporters who hurled abuse at Paul Pogba during Saturday's victory against Norwich City.

The France international was substituted in the 74th minute, replaced by Marcus Rashford moments before Cristiano Ronaldo completed a hat-trick to secure a 3-2 win at Old Trafford.

Interim boss Rangnick said he did not immediately hear the chants of "F*** off Pogba" that came from the stands, but he said fans should not isolate individuals.

Pogba, a World Cup winner with France, is expected to leave United at the end of the season when his contract expires.

That will bring to an end a largely underwhelming six-year stint back at the club where he began his professional career prior to spending four years at Juventus.

Pogba cupped his ear to the United fans at one point and appeared to hear their taunts as he returned to his seat among the substitutes and club staff, even if his manager had his focus elsewhere.

"I didn't hear it myself, but I was informed after the game," Rangnick said. "I can fully understand the fans are frustrated, so are we, but I don't think they should take on individual players. I don't think that is right or correct."

Rangnick was delighted with Ronaldo for scoring the 50th hat-trick of his club career, and his third across two spells with United. An incredible 44 of those trebles came for Real Madrid, with the other three arriving during his Juventus career. Ronaldo's second goal, a header, and his third, a long-range free-kick, were described as "brilliant goals" by Rangnick.

But Rangnick warned United must improve significantly if they are to take anything from their next two games, which come away from home at Liverpool on Tuesday and at Arsenal on Saturday.

The German boss complained about United's defending, which allowed Norwich to battle back from two goals down to draw level early in the second half.

Ronaldo's salvage operation, on a day when Tottenham and Arsenal both lost, meant United suddenly find themselves firmly back in contention for fourth place and a spot in next season's Champions League.

However, Rangnick told MUTV: "With a draw, it would have been a disaster for us, not only in the table but also with regard to the atmosphere in the locker room.

"We have to focus on our own performance. The result was good and should lift the momentum and the confidence of the team, but we have to be realistic; with that kind of performance it would be almost impossible to get something out of the away game against Liverpool and also away at Arsenal, and at home against Chelsea [on May 15] it will be difficult.

"We're still in the race, but we have to lift our performance and our level."

Goalkeeper David de Gea said the result was "massive for us" and commended Ronaldo, saying on NBC: "Sometimes people just count goals, but I think he's playing very well and he scored three important goals for us again."

Like his manager, De Gea is not taking a blinkered view of United's performances.

"We are conceding a lot of chances," De Gea said. "I think Norwich played a great game. But I think it's more us. We are not playing well. We should control the game more, especially against Norwich at home, but in the end we got three goals from Cristiano and the three points.

"We are happy, but we know we have to improve a lot."

Cristiano Ronaldo promised Manchester United would keep "fighting until the end" for fourth place in the Premier League after his 50th career hat-trick at club level sank Norwich City at Old Trafford.

The 37-year-old put United two goals to the good early on, but the hosts were out of sorts for large parts of the game and allowed Norwich to get back on level terms by the 52nd minute.

Ronaldo completed a hat-trick in the 76th minute when his 25-yard free-kick was too hot for Tim Krul to handle, the goalkeeper only able to help the ball into the back of the net.

When international football is added to the count, Portuguese star Ronaldo has 60 hat-tricks to his name.

Amid a torrent of praise, United's hero of the hour attempted to quash the significance of his personal milestone, putting emphasis on the significance of the win that boosts United's hopes of playing in next season's Champions League.

It is fourth place that is therefore the target, and defeats for Tottenham and Arsenal on Saturday have allowed United to get back into that mix.

They sit fifth now, three points behind Tottenham and ahead of Arsenal on goal difference; however, United, who face title-chasing Liverpool next, have played one more match that the Gunners.

Ronaldo wrote on Instagram: "Very happy with this win and for getting us back on track in the Premier League.

"Individual achievements are only worth it when they help us reach our goals as a team, and the 60th hat-trick in my career is so much more important because it brought us the 3 points.

"Well done, lads, tremendous effort from everyone. We're not giving up, we're fighting until the end!"

Cristiano Ronaldo reached the remarkable landmark of 50 hat-tricks at club level as he propelled Manchester United to victory over Norwich City.

Ronaldo, who has managed 60 trebles when his goals for Portugal are added to the count, remains an arch predator at the age of 37, and his display at Old Trafford rescued an off-key United team in Saturday's encounter with the Premier League's bottom side.

After reaching 49 club trebles by hitting three against Tottenham last month, Ronaldo brought up a half-century with a close-range strike, a header from a corner and a 25-yard free-kick.

It was his third United treble (one in 2008, two in 2022). He hit three hat-tricks with Juventus and an incredible 44 during a stellar nine-year spell at Real Madrid.

Ronaldo moved to 21 goals for the season in all competitions, going through the 20 barrier for a 16th consecutive campaign, and he now has 99 Premier League goals in his career.

His goals can be broken down further, with all three of his hat-tricks for United coming in the Premier League, while with Juventus he hit two trebles in Serie A and one in the Champions League.

During his time at Madrid, spanning 2009 to 2018, Ronaldo hit 34 hat-tricks in LaLiga, seven in the Champions League, two in the Copa del Rey and one in the FIFA Club World Cup.

He managed five goals in a LaLiga game twice for Madrid, against Granada in April 2015 and against Espanyol in September of the same year, and also plundered five four-goals hauls in the same competition.

Ronaldo also hit four for Madrid in a Champions League game against Malmo in December 2015.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 50th club career hat-trick dug Manchester United out of a hole against lowly Norwich City as the under-par Red Devils won 3-2 at Old Trafford.

The 37-year-old's treble was his second in his past three Premier League appearances and took him to 21 goals for the season, going through the 20 barrier for a 16th consecutive campaign.

Ronaldo moved to 99 Premier League goals in his career, and United could only thank him for sparing them a potentially embarrassing afternoon.

He put United two up early on, but Norwich hit back through Kieran Dowell and Teemu Pukki, only for former Real Madrid and Juventus star Ronaldo to lash a free-kick winner through the grasp of Tim Krul in the 76th minute.

David de Gea sprinted from his line to expertly block Pukki's attempted dink over the goalkeeper in the third minute, and Norwich would soon regret failing to take that golden chance

Ronaldo saw a fizzing 20-yard shot saved by Krul in the seventh minute, but seconds later the United man did better, with Anthony Elanga dispossessing Ben Gibson in the penalty area and squaring for an easy close-range finish.

United kept pressing against opponents who at that point appeared ripe to be picked off, and Ronaldo got their second in the 32nd minute when he headed a corner from the right by Alex Telles past Krul.

Norwich surprisingly got one back in first-half stoppage time when Pukki's cross from the left was nodded in at the far post by an unmarked Dowell.

Incredibly, having been outplayed for so long, Norwich got level after 52 minutes when Pukki tucked past De Gea after Dowell played him in and the striker stayed just onside.

United lacked coherence in attack and were out of sorts throughout, with De Gea having to save well from Milot Rashica to keep the hosts on level terms, but then up stepped Ronaldo from 25 yards to save the day.

Cristiano Ronaldo extended his astonishing streak of scoring at least 20 club goals in a season when he netted twice before half-time for Manchester United on Saturday.

The Portuguese superstar's double before the break against Norwich City took him to 20 for 2021-22, and he has now reached or passed that mark in 16 consecutive seasons.

His sensational run began during a first spell at United, with Ronaldo first breaking the 20-goal barrier when he scored 23 for the Red Devils in the 2006-07 campaign.

He hit 42 in 2007-08, and during a subsequent nine-year stint at Real Madrid, where he became the club's record scorer, Ronaldo exceeded 50 goals in six consecutive seasons from 2010-11 to 2015-16.

Ronaldo left Madrid in 2018 and remained a clinical finisher for Juventus in Italy, scoring 101 goals across three seasons with the Turin giants before being tempted back to United last August.

While 37-year-old Ronaldo stretches his remarkable record, it seems likely his former LaLiga rival Lionel Messi will see his sequence of 20-goal seasons come to an end.

Argentine great Messi managed 20-plus goals in 13 consecutive seasons for Barcelona, but he has struggled to score with the same regularity during his first year with Paris Saint-Germain. Messi has netted only eight times so far this season for PSG, who have just seven Ligue 1 games remaining.

Merseyside Police are investigating an incident involving Cristiano Ronaldo after Manchester United's Premier League defeat at Everton on Saturday.

A video emerged on social media of United forward Ronaldo appearing to smash a fan's phone as he left the field following the game at Goodison Park.

The Portugal forward issued an apology on Instagram after the Red Devils were consigned to a 1-0 defeat.

Allegations of assault were made against Ronaldo and Merseyside Police are looking into the incident.

A widely released statement from Merseyside Police said: "We can confirm that we are liaising with Manchester United Football Club and Everton FC following reports of an alleged assault at the Everton v Manchester United football match today (Saturday 9 April 2022) at Goodison. As players were leaving the pitch at 2.30pm it was reported that a boy was assaulted by one of the away team as they left the pitch.

"Inquiries are underway and officers are currently working with Everton Football club to review CCTV footage and are carrying out extensive witness enquiries to establish if an offence has taken place."

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo explained his actions and offer to host the fan at Old Trafford "as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship". 

"It's never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing," Ronaldo wrote. 

"Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game. 

"I would like to apologise for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship." 

Cristiano Ronaldo apologised after he appeared to smash a fan's phone following Manchester United's 1-0 loss at Everton on Saturday. 

Anthony Gordon's deflected first-half strike consigned United to a second straight Premier League away defeat for the first time since January 2020. 

It was a significant blow to the Red Devils' hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, with Tottenham's victory over Aston Villa later in the day leaving Ralf Rangnick's side six points adrift of the top four. 

Following the final whistle, a video emerged on social media which claimed to show Ronaldo breaking an Everton supporter's phone by throwing it into the floor. 

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner subsequently took to Instagram to explain his actions and offer to host the fan at Old Trafford "as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship". 

"It's never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing," Ronaldo wrote. 

"Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game. 

"I would like to apologise for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship." 

United have now triumphed in just eight of their 17 Premier League games under Rangnick, with the German's 47 per cent win ratio the club's worst under any manager in the competition. 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.