Cristiano Ronaldo continues to enjoy a remarkable return to Manchester United, with the Portugal captain maintaining his record of scoring in each game since rejoining the Red Devils. Ronaldo scored a vital equaliser on Sunday as United came from behind to win an eventful match at West Ham United.
Elsewhere, there were stunning strikes by Raphael Guerreiro for Borussia Dortmund in Germany and Dany Mota in Italy’s Serie B with Monza, as well as a goal for Domingos Duarte against Barcelona at Camp Nou. Veterans Vieirinha and Marco Paixão both scored winning goals in Greece and Turkey respectively, while there was a superb debut for Pedro Rebocho in Poland and Daniel Candeias was a match-winner for Alanyaspor against Galatasaray.
The biggest story of the weekend, of course, was Ronaldo’s continued impact at Manchester United. Faced with a tough trip to West Ham on Sunday, United endured a challenging opening to proceedings before going behind when Said Benrahma’s shot took a wicked deflection off Raphael Varane and nestled into the net to give the Hammers the lead.
4 in 3 for Ronaldo
United responded well to the setback, largely driven by Ronaldo who immediately set about giving the home defence problems with his movement. Having already gone close instantly after West Ham’s opener, Ronaldo levelled for United on 35 minutes, getting on the end of Bruno Fernandes’ cross and scoring at the second attempt from close range.
Ronaldo had several claims for penalties waived away during the course of the afternoon, with most observers later concluding that at least one should have been awarded. United ultimately found the winning goal through substitute Jesse Lingard’s superb individual goal on 89 minutes, but the match ended in further drama when West Ham were awarded a last-gasp penalty for handball but captain Mark Noble – having been brought on to take the kick – saw his effort saved by David de Gea.
For Ronaldo, four goals in three matches in all competitions since joining Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side from Juventus at the end of the transfer window. United, who join Liverpool on Chelsea on 13 points at the top of the Premier League, are expected to rest Ronaldo for a midweek League Cup clash with West Ham, before hosting Aston Villa on Saturday lunchtime.
Duarte minutes from Camp Nou winner
Domingos Duarte scored an early goal for Granada against Barcelona at Camp Nou on Monday, which almost proved an unexpected winner for the Andalusians. Duarte headed Granada into the lead after just 85 seconds, notching his 5th league goal for the club, and the visitors held firm with Portuguese goalkeeper Luís Maximiano in strong form until Ronald Araujo’s last-minute equaliser.
“We should congratulate all of us for the effort we made,” Duarte said after the match. “We are in a process which takes time, and we believe in what we are doing. The victories will come. We had to take away Barca’s rhythm and stop their game and that’s what we’ve done. We played with our weapons as they played with theirs. We are happy with the draw.”
“The most beautiful goal of my life” - Guerreiro adds another spectacular strike in Germany
Free-scoring Borussia Dortmund made it four wins in a row in all competitions on Sunday with a 4-2 home victory over Union Berlin. As was the case last week, Raphael Guerreiro caught the eye with another spectacular goal, adding to his free-kick against Bayer Leverkusen with a stunning left-foot finish to put Dortmund 1-0 up after ten minutes against Union.
“I think the goal against Union Berlin was a crazy goal,” Guerreiro told BVB TV after the match. “It’s the most beautiful goal of my life. Of course, I will pick that for sure. I think you can score a goal like that just one time in your life and that was the day yesterday.”
Spectacular Mota opens season account for Monza
Perhaps the best Portuguese goal of the weekend came in Italy, where U21 striker Dany Mota almost won all three points for Monza in Serie B. The U21 international forward put the Biancorossi ahead after just five minutes against Ternana at the Stadio Brianteo with a thunderous long-range shot, but the hosts would be denied a victory by Cristian Capone’s 95th-minute equaliser.
Dany Mota’s goal for Monza at the weekend 🚀 pic.twitter.com/51L8w8IOwt— Sean Gillen (@SeanGillen9) September 20, 2021
Evergreen Paixão winner in Turkey
The weekend got off to an exciting start on Friday night with two Portuguese particularly catching the eye abroad. The first saw veteran striker Marco Paixão – who this weekend celebrated his 37th birthday – score a spectacular late winner for Altay in the Turkish Super Lig. Paixão executed a clinical overhead kick deep into stoppage time to give Altay a 2-1 home win over Goztepe.
Marco Paixão turns 37 this weekend, but he’s still scoring goals. Not only that, he’s scoring overhead kicks in stoppage time to win matches for Altay in the Turkish Super Lig 🇵🇹🇹🇷pic.twitter.com/3d5AFHc4v3— Sean Gillen (@SeanGillen9) September 17, 2021
Rebocho’s dream debut in Poland
Also on Friday, Pedro Rebocho enjoyed a debut to remember for his new club Lech Poznan in Poland as they hammered Wisla Krakow 5-0. The former Benfica full-back, who arrived in Poznan from French club Guingamp having spent last season on loan with Paços de Ferreira. Issued his first start at home against Wisla on Friday, Rebocho made an immediate impact.
It was a fellow Portuguese and another ex- Paços player, midfielder João Amaral, who opened the scoring for Lech on 29 minutes, before Rebocho beautifully set up Ba Loua for the second on the stroke of half time. Rebocho got the third seven minutes after the re-start, with the assist coming from Amaral as Lech remained top of the Ekstraklasa after eight matches.
Pedro Rebocho marked his debut for Lech Poznań with a goal last night in Poland. He has so much quality going forward, should be a great signing. pic.twitter.com/Kg7nGpeQhQ— Sean Gillen (@SeanGillen9) September 18, 2021
Candeias downs Galatasaray
Well-travelled wideman Daniel Candeias provided a surprise result in the Turkish top flight by scoring a late winner for Alanyaspor at heavyweights Galatasaray. Substitute Candeias arrived at the back post on 87 minutes to snatch the victory and score his first goal for Alanyaspor, following a summer move from Genclerbirligi.
Daniel Candeias scored a late winner for Alanyaspor against Galatasaray pic.twitter.com/46jTcz04ux— Sean Gillen (@SeanGillen9) September 20, 2021
The rest: Vieirinha still inspiring PAOK
Vieirinha scored his first goal of the season on Sunday night from the penalty spot as PAOK won 1-0 away against Asteras Tripolis in the Greek Super League. The 35-year-old is now in his ninth season at PAOK, which is spread across two spells, where he also serves as club captain.
Finally, Rui Mendes continues to show promise with Emmen in the Dutch Eerste Divisie, following his hat-trick last week with the opener in a 2-1 win at NAC Breda. Elsewhere, there were goals for Tino Barbosa (Differdange) and Bruno Ramirez (Fola Esch) in Luxembourg, while Miguel Lima found the net for Maltese side Sliema Wanderers and Euclides Cabral was on target for St Gallen in the Swiss Cup.
By Sean Gillen