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Ronaldo’s hat-trick hands Tottenham huge blow

Cristiano Ronaldo quadrupled his goal tally for 2022. Photo: BBC

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first Manchester United hat-trick in 14 years as Tottenham were defeated in a thrilling encounter at Old Trafford.

The Portuguese put United ahead twice before heading home the winner from Alex Telles’ corner nine minutes from time, the 807th goal of his career.

Tottenham twice responded to Ronaldo’s efforts, through a Harry Kane penalty and a Harry Maguire’s own goal.

But it was Ronaldo who had the final word, completing his first United treble since January 2008, in a 6-0 win over Newcastle.

The result was a major confidence boost for United before Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Atletico Madrid.

It also moves them back into the top four and keeps Tottenham in seventh, although Arsenal – two points behind in fifth – remain favourites to clinch the final Champions League berth as they have four games in hand.

There were reports that Ronaldo is now the Fifa-recognised all-time top goalscorer, surpassing Josef Bican’s 805 goals but there are doubts about the Czech-Austrian’s figure – which includes reserve games.