Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lauded David de Gea after his penalty-saving heroics in Manchester United's victory over West Ham, while downplaying talk of the Premier League title.

United goalkeeper De Gea saved his first penalty in 41 attempts to help the Red Devils secure a dramatic 2-1 win at West Ham. 

Jesse Lingard curled in a stunning 89th-minute strike after United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo had earlier cancelled out Said Benrahma's deflected opener in London, where De Gea emerged the hero.

De Gea saved Mark Noble's 95th-minute penalty – the Spain international ending a drought dating back to April 2016 without saving a spot-kick.

United's De Gea has now saved three and conceded 28 of the penalties he has faced in the Premier League; he had failed to keep out 21 in a row in the competition before denying substitute Noble. 

De Gea has found himself in the spotlight amid doubts over his future due to his form at Old Trafford, where Dean Henderson's arrival last season sparked speculation, but Solskjaer hailed the 30-year-old veteran.

"I believe in David and I've seen him [make a penalty save]," Solskjaer told reporters. "He saved against Crystal Palace last season, and his foot was a little inch off the line. 

"I've seen Mark Noble score so many penalties, you did feel down and out and expected to come home with one point but luckily David has continued his good form."

United have now gone 29 away Premier League matches without defeat, Lingard claiming their latest comeback victory.

Solskjaer's United are unbeaten in their last 14 away games in the Premier League when conceding first (W10 D4), including a 3-1 win in this fixture last season.

United – who have not won the Premier League since 2012-13 – are level with Chelsea and Liverpool atop the table through five matches.

"We're five games into the season, and I was probably down and out and lost my job yesterday [Saturday, after the Champions League loss to Young Boys during the week]," said Solskjaer. "So, that's just the way it is at Man United. 

"We've got to keep our feet grounded, dig out points like we did today. I thought they deserved the three points and you know it's a hard place to come and get these points.

"Hopefully we can, can make a difference, let's see when we get towards April and May."

Cristiano Ronaldo was denied two "stonewall" penalties in Manchester United's win at West Ham, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Portugal star got his fourth goal in three games since his return to the Red Devils in Sunday's 2-1 victory at London Stadium.

Ronaldo's first-half goal cancelled out Said Benrahma's deflected opener, with Jesse Lingard - who impressed on loan at the Hammers in 2020-21 - curling home a sublime winner after coming on as a substitute.

Ronaldo was floored by challenges from Vladimir Coufal and Kurt Zouma during the second half, with referee Martin Atkinson and VAR unmoved, but a penalty was given deep into injury time for a handball by Luke Shaw.

Mark Noble came off the bench but saw his effort saved by David de Gea with just seconds remaining.

Solskjaer had no complaints about the spot-kick given against Shaw but felt Ronaldo had been clearly fouled on separate occasions,

"The first and the last, I think are stonewall, you can't even argue against them," he told Sky Sports when asked about three penalty appeals for his side.

"Paul [Pogba] had a foul against him, Kurt Zouma: he didn't touch him but he went over him. So why is Cristiano's third appeal not a penalty? Hopefully it won't be that Cristiano's never going to get a penalty."

Noble's only touch of the ball was the penalty attempt clawed away by De Gea, who last saved a spot-kick in the Premier League against Everton's Leighton Baines in 2014.

"The thinking behind it [bringing Noble on for the penalty] was simply his record," manager Moyes said. "I'd have been more disappointed if I hadn't made the decision. I made the decision, and it didn't quite work today.

"We've given Manchester United a run for their money, the more we do that at this level against the top teams, the more we will improve as well."

Solskjaer was criticised for his game management in Tuesday's shock 2-1 Champions League loss to Young Boys, in which Lingard gifted the home side their stoppage-time winner with a loose pass.

He was delighted to see Lingard combine with fellow substitute Nemanja Matic to secure another comeback win and stretch United's unbeaten away run to 29 league games.

"Great goal, so happy for Jesse and he had a tough evening on Tuesday. He's knuckled down, worked hard again, been the same bright, positive lad. I'm so happy for him," he said.

"It's always difficult coming here against a West Ham team that's well organised. They're on their longest unbeaten run in the Premier League.

"We know we had to stamp our authority. First half, we had 60, 70 per cent of the possession. They got the first goal, but it's just a game that's waiting to open up.

"You can't take rests when you defend and we dropped into a back six, too many spaces, too late to charge the ball. We sorted and spoke about that at half-time. Great response."

United have now recovered 35 points from losing positions in Premier League matches since the start of last season, which is almost twice as many as any other side.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Jadon Sancho to come good after a slow start with the club.

The 21-year-old has made five appearances for Untied since signing from Borussia Dortmund for around £73million after a high-profile transfer pursuit that lasted over a year.

England international Sancho arrived to huge fanfare, though he is yet to register a goal or assist going into Sunday's Premier League trip to West Ham.

A frustrating start for Sancho continued when he was sacrificed in the first half of Tuesday's Champions League loss to Young Boys, the winger taken off as part of a reshuffle when Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off.

Solskjaer, though, insists nothing has changed in his evaluation of Sancho, who he feels can be a "top forward" for United over more than a decade.

"He is learning all the time," Solskjaer told reporters before the West Ham clash.

"As I said in training as well, he is learning our methods, he is learning the Premier League and of course, he knows the Champions League already from being at Dortmund.

"He is a young boy, he is only 21 and he will improve. 

"We signed him as we see a top forward for 10, 12, 15 years and I have not changed my mind on that.

"He is so clean on the ball and is enthusiastic to learn and that is such a big thing when you come to Manchester United.

"You are always going to get a chance and you play with some of the best players in the world, you are getting some fantastic coaching with the coaches I have got too."

United will do battle with their former manager David Moyes when they take on West Ham, with Sancho not a certainty to start given Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the options in attacking positions.

Since his sacking in 2014, Moyes has failed to win any of his seven games against United in all competitions, losing five of those.

However, in-form Ronaldo has a mixed record against West Ham.

The Portugal star was involved in six goals in his last four league appearances against them in his first spell in England (five goals, one assist), though he also suffered three top-flight defeats to the Hammers.

Only against Chelsea (four) has Ronaldo suffered more Premier League losses than he has against West Ham.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Rio Ferdinand got it all wrong after the former Manchester United captain questioned why Cristiano Ronaldo was allowed to vent from the touchline.

Ferdinand is a former United team-mate of the current Red Devils boss and said he would have told Ronaldo, with whom he also played, to stay in his seat rather than race to pitchside to complain about a tackle.

Ronaldo, newly back at the club after 12 years away, was on his feet alongside Bruno Fernandes as they expressed anger about a foul by Young Boys midfielder Christopher Martins on Nemanja Matic in Tuesday's Champions League clash.

Both Ronaldo and Fernandes had been substituted by that stage of a game that United lost 2-1 after a stoppage-time winner by their Swiss hosts.

In his role as a pundit for BT Sport, Ferdinand had said: "If I'm the manager, I've got to be honest, I'm telling him to sit down."

But, quoted in several Sunday newspapers, Solskjaer explained that he had no complaints about the United pair showing their frustrations.

"Rio, again you know, sometimes he comments on things he doesn't really know," said Solskjaer.

"It's not like he was coaching players. No. Both Bruno and Cristiano, as competitive as they are, suddenly I had them on my shoulder.

"They were there for a brief spell and shouted at the referee. That was the aggravation of getting a few bad decisions against us. But then Cristiano sat down and Bruno sat down."

Ferdinand suggested it would be difficult to prevent a player of Ronaldo's standing in the game to hold his tongue.

"He's just a passionate guy. He wants to win, he's desperate to win, and he can't hold it in," Ferdinand said. "If that means he has to go up there and stand next to the manager, shouting instructions, so be it."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appreciates the expectations on his Manchester United side are high as they return to Premier League action against West Ham.

United are unbeaten in 28 away top-flight games – the longest run in English league history – conceding just 19 goals in the process.

They have also won their last two meetings with Sunday's opponents as they go in search of a third consecutive win against West Ham for the first time since 2014.

However, following a surprise 2-1 Champions League loss to Young Boys on Tuesday, Solskjaer acknowledged his side need to respond on Sunday.

"They’re focused of course, a little bit disappointed but not too downbeat. We know it's a setback and we have to do better, and we've got five games to get the 10 to 12 points we need," Solskjaer told reporters.

"[It's] not the start we wanted but we're a good team that can bounce back again and the group is very good."

Asked whether the media's reaction post-match surprised him, Solskjaer responded: "No, it doesn't surprise me. I've got my job and we do our job, you tend to in the media get judged by behaviours and outcomes rather than intentions.

"It's black and white. But we go into the game with good intentions, we make changes with good intentions, go into a tackle and make a pass with good intentions.

"The outcome always decides which headline we'll see and very, very rarely is the game fantastic or really, really bad, it just hovers about good or not good enough.

"We know the expectations are high and we expect more of ourselves as well, the performance wasn't up to our standard."

Questions piled on regarding Solskjaer's capabilities following the surrender of a one-goal lead against Young Boys, with the removal of Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo being key issues for some.

But Solskjaer evaded questions over his management style or philosophy, instead insisting the desire of the United team could prove the difference between winning and losing this term.

"I don't sit here and claim and talk... football is a simple game and it's about making good decisions and being in a team," he continued.

"Sometimes we look too much into all the intricacies – it's passion, it's desire, who wants to win the ball? Which one of the strikers has the desire to get on the end of crosses?

"You can talk about all sorts, it looks nice on paper. But when you go out on that pitch, it's who wants to win, that’s one of the big things. You want winners and I think I'm getting there with my team, team players."

The United head coach is also hoping to have Edinson Cavani back from injury soon, with the Uruguay striker's only involvement for the Red Devils this season coming in a 37-minute cameo against Wolves at the end of August.

Since then, he has struggled with fitness issues, but Solskjaer is confident the former Paris Saint-Germain star can be involved again from next week.

"Edinson [Cavani] hopefully will start training with us after the weekend, maybe Monday, so maybe involved on Wednesday," he added.

"He had a fantastic season last season, the impact he made when he got his fitness… He struggled with niggly injuries early on.

"We feel that to get the best out of him this season we need to get him 100 per cent fit and not rush him. We’ve got a strong squad that will cope with having to let players heal and not risk any further injuries.

"I see Edinson having a massive impact, he's that type of personality and player. He can't wait to play and he's working really hard to get back on the pitch."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt Manchester United should have been awarded a penalty in their 2-1 Champions League loss to Young Boys, but blamed the defeat on a lack of concentration.

United appeared to be heading for a routine victory when Cristiano Ronaldo, who matched former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas' record with his 177th Champions League appearance, put them ahead in the 13th minute.

The goal made Young Boys the 36th different side Ronaldo has scored against in the Champions League, a record he now shares with Lionel Messi.

However, the game turned when Aaron Wan-Bissaka received a straight red card late in the first half for his foul on Christopher Martins Pereira.

United saw another decision go against them when Ronaldo went down under the challenge of Mohamed Camara, with referee Francois Letexier waving away his claims.

Young Boys made their personnel advantage count soon after through Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu's 66th-minute strike.

The Group F clash looked set for a draw, yet there was a final twist as a misjudged backpass from Jesse Lingard, who replaced Ronaldo in the 72nd minute, was pounced on by Jordan Siebatcheu to seal a famous win with the last kick of the game.

Asked about Ronaldo, Solskjaer said: "You can never be surprised by the man, he scored another goal, he should have had a penalty and sending off the other way. 

"He pounced on that mistake. He's exceptional but we have to look after him and it felt like the right moment to take him off."

On the penalty appeal, he added: "He shoves him with his arm and he's one-on-one with the keeper but [the referee] probably didn't do it as he'd have had to send him off and that's sometimes what you get with young refs."

Solskjaer, though, accepted United were the architects of their own downfall as they suffered another damaging away Champions League defeat akin to losses to Istanbul Basaksehir and RB Leipzig last season.

"Lack of concentration, make mistakes and you get punished," Solskjaer explained. "You get done. We did that last year, we conceded two sloppy counter-attacks against Basaksehir and lost that game in the last seconds today.

"Jesse wants to play it safe and misplaces the pass, concedes the goal, that happens in football. If Jesse gets that chance again he turns, swivels and boots the ball the other way. Discipline is a huge part of the game. Aaron's normally a very, very astute tackler, one of the best in the world.

"We know we've given ourselves a more difficult task, we did last year when everyone thought we were through after two games.

"You need 10 or 12 points, win your home games, one away from home. We've lost the opportunity to get three points but we've got two home games next and got to focus on those two."

Edinson Cavani will miss Manchester United's Champions League clash with Young Boys, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirming the striker suffered a slight strain in a friendly.

Cavani was not included as United went top of the Premier League in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Uruguay star has played only once this season and will not feature when United look to make a winning start to their European campaign in Switzerland.

Speaking at a media conference, Solskjaer told reporters: "Edi is hopefully back with us soon, he had a slight strain during the international break in a behind-closed-doors game. He's working hard to come back."

United, though, will have Cristiano Ronaldo at their disposal to potentially equal Iker Casillas' record of 177 Champions League appearances after he made it a second debut to remember against Newcastle following his move back to Old Trafford from Juventus.

The former Real Madrid star marked his return with a brace, his typically ruthless finishing looking like it will make United a force to be reckoned with after a transfer window in which they also added Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.

Asked about the quality he now has in his ranks, Solskjaer said: "This team has grown and matured over the last few seasons, that was always the plan.

"When I came in, we wanted a team with experience and quality who could challenge. David [de Gea] sat next to me, Harry [Maguire] has been here for a few years now, Raphael and Cristiano. We've learned."

Ronaldo's return and subsequent immediate impact has clearly increased the feel-good factor around United, with De Gea speaking to the influence he has had in a short space of time.

He said: "It's great to have Cristiano back home — the experience of Cristiano is amazing, he's a legend at the club already and it's great to have him back. It's massive for us."

United won each of their previous two Champions League clashes against Young Boys in the Champions League in 2018-19. Tuesday's opponents have won only one of their eight games against English opposition, but Solskjaer is not taking them lightly after Switzerland's shock win over France at Euro 2020.

"I was very impressed by the reaction in the game against France, when they were 3-1 down and you could see their quality when they turned that game around," said Solskjaer.

"I managed Molde against Basel and the game against Italy was impressive as well. Some of those players will be against us tomorrow."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted it is "not impossible" to leave out Cristiano Ronaldo as he said the superstar will not play every game this season following his stunning start to life back at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo enjoyed a remarkable second debut for United on Saturday, scoring two goals in their 4-1 Premier League rout of Newcastle United.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who was serenaded by fans before, during and after the match, completed a sensational return to United from Juventus last month after leaving the Red Devils for Real Madrid in 2009.

As United prepare to challenge on all fronts this season ahead of their Champions League opener at Young Boys on Tuesday, Solskjaer said the 36-year-old's minutes will be managed in 2021-22.

"It's not impossible to leave him out," Solskjaer said. "He is 36. Mason [Greenwood] is 19 so it's the same, I have to manage his minutes and I have to manage a 36-year-old's minutes as well.

"The other thing with Cristiano is that he looks after himself so much so I know he will recover quickly.

"Of course, it's important that we get everyone up and running and to get him up and running."

Ronaldo set a new record for the gap between two Premier League appearances (12 years, 118 days).

His brace against Newcastle came 12 years and 124 days after Ronaldo's last in the English top flight – only Matt Jackson (13 years, 187 days) has gone longer in Premier League history.

Ronaldo, at 36 years and 218 days, became the oldest player to score a double in a Premier League match since Graham Alexander for Burnley against Hull in April 2010. Alexander was 38 years and 182 days old.

The arrival of Ronaldo before the transfer deadline capped an impressive window for United, who also signed star defender Raphael Varane from Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho.

"The more quality you add to the group, the more healthy the competition [is] and [the more] leaders [there are] who they look up to," said Solskjaer.

"I think seeing Raphael and Cristiano coming has raised everyone's eyebrows because they are winners.

"They have won everything there is to win and they put demands on themselves which the young boys, the rest of the team, look at and think that is how you stay at the top. So it is only going to be good for everyone."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed the club for bringing in new signing Cristiano Ronaldo who he says has lifted the team.

Ronaldo netted a double on his second United debut as the Red Devils won 4-1 over Newcastle in the English Premier League on Saturday.

The return of the 36-year-old Portuguese, who won three league titles during his previous six-year stint at Old Trafford, has offered United fans genuine hope that they can end their trophy wait.

United have not won any trophies since 2017, while they have not lifted the Premier League title since 2013 and Solskjaer hailed Ronaldo's presence within the squad.

"Cristiano senses the big moments and is ruthless. He is clinical," Solskjaer said.

"Cristiano lifts everyone, gets everyone so focused when he's around the place, he puts demands on himself which puts demands on his teammates and demands on us, and that's why he's done so much in his career, he's been so disciplined.

"He's evolved, he's a developed as a player, he's a different type of player to when he left but he's still a ruthless and clinical goalscorer, and he smells the big moments. He scents when there's a goal."

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo's return comes along with the Red Devils signing Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane in a signal of intent during the recent transfer window.

"I've got say well done to the club and everyone for bringing in players to challenge," Solskjaer said.

"We're bringing competitors but they're good people and we have got a good and strong squad.

"The atmosphere around the club has been electric, the supporters have really enjoyed the last 10 days or so since he signed and there are loads of expectations on the team today and he's delivered."

Solskjaer added he never considered not starting Ronaldo against Newcastle, stating: "This was a day for everyone to enjoy."

Ronaldo's double means he is the oldest player to score for United in the Premier League since Ryan Giggs in February 2013 (39y 86d v QPR).

The Portuguese is also the oldest player to score a double in a Premier League game since Burnley's Graham Alexander (38y 182d) against Hull City in 2010.

Cristiano Ronaldo said "Old Trafford has always been a magical place" after he marked his second debut for Manchester United with a double.

Ronaldo, who last month completed a sensational return to the club he left for Real Madrid in 2009, was named in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's starting XI for Saturday's Premier League clash with Newcastle United.

Fresh from becoming the leading international goalscorer of all time, Ronaldo gave the eager Old Trafford crowd exactly what they wanted when he tucked in on the rebound just before half-time.

Javier Manquillo's equaliser threatened to derail the day, yet Ronaldo slotted through Freddie Woodman's legs to put United back in control, with Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard rounding off a fine win to take United to the top of the table.

In a post on his official Instagram account, Ronaldo wrote: "My return to Old Trafford was just a brief reminder of why this stadium is known as the Theater of Dreams.

"For me, it has always been a magical place where you can achieve everything you set your mind to.

"Along with all my team-mates and with the amazing support that we always get from the stands, we face the road ahead with confidence and optimism that we'll all be celebrating together in the end.

"Proud to be back at United and playing in the Premier League once again, but above all, happy to help the team! Let's go, Devils!"

Ronaldo set a league record for the length of a gap between two goals in the competition (12 years, 118 days), while also becoming the oldest player to score a double in a Premier League match since Graham Alexander did so for Burnley in 2010, at the age of 38.

Solskjaer said Ronaldo's return "lived up to all expectations" and, in a separate interview with BBC Sport, United's manager enthused over the superstar's homecoming.

"I'm so happy for Cristiano Ronaldo. I'm so happy for the team and supporters. You sense the atmosphere around the club since he signed. It could easily have been an anti-climax because expectations were so high," he said.

"It feels like one of the old days. It's special. Cristiano is a special man and a special player for us in the history of the club.

"He senses big moments and scores goals. He's clinical, he's ruthless. He's lifted the team and everyone around the club. Everyone is dreaming. They can dream and we'll focus."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revelled in Cristiano Ronaldo's hugely successful second Manchester United debut after the veteran forward scored twice against Newcastle United.

Solskjaer's United were 4-1 winners at Old Trafford on Saturday, as the returning Ronaldo started and netted the opener before restoring the hosts' lead following Javier Manquillo's equaliser.

Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard added stunning late strikes, but this was Ronaldo's day – just as the United fans had hoped.

More than 12 years on from his previous Premier League outing – a record gap – the 36-year-old delivered the goods once again.

Solskjaer told Sky Sports he did not consider starting Ronaldo from the bench as "this is what Cristiano is about – this was a day for everyone to enjoy".

Enjoy it the home fans did, seeing their side attempt 21 shots – including six from Ronaldo – in a thrilling attacking display, even if Newcastle were in the game for long periods.

"When you win a game, you enjoy it," Solskjaer said. "When you see fans being happy, you really enjoy it.

"There were loads of expectations. They all delivered. We have to deliver every time. That's Manchester United. It doesn't change."

The link-up between Ronaldo and Fernandes was the source of particular encouragement given their lack of fluency at times for Portugal.

Only Mohamed Salah (32) has scored more Premier League goals than Fernandes (30) since he joined United, yet his international tally has increased by just three in that time.

The midfielder linked up effectively with Ronaldo on Saturday, however, even outside of their goals.

To no player did Ronaldo play more passes than his nine to Fernandes, while there were 11 in return. The only chance Ronaldo created was for his compatriot.

"Good players can always play together," Solskjaer said. "They have a mutual respect and play for Portugal together."

Fernandes agreed, adding: "Everyone knows what Cristiano brings to the club and the world of football.

"It's about everything we can do for the team, and getting results. Good players can always be good together and play in the same team."

Cristiano Ronaldo was handed his second Manchester United debut after he was named in their starting XI for Saturday's visit of Newcastle United.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner completed his return to the club when he arrived from Juventus two weeks ago for an initial fee of £12.9million (€15m) on a two-year deal with the option of a third.

After being granted permission to leave Portugal duty early and then serving a period of isolation, Ronaldo reported to United's training ground for the first time on Tuesday.

He began training with his new team-mates the next day and is now set to play his first Premier League game since May 2009 – the longest gap between appearances in the competition's history.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed on Friday that Ronaldo would at the very least play as a substitute, but with Edinson Cavani – who allowed the Portugal captain to take over the number seven jersey – absent, the 36-year-old starting seemed inevitable.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 games in his first spell at United, which lasted for six years before he joined Real Madrid in 2009.

Despite that return in front of goal, the Portugal captain scored just one hat-trick across that previous stint – coincidentally, that came against Saturday's opponents Newcastle in January 2008.

It is fair to say Ronaldo made a habit of trebles in the 12 years after leaving Old Trafford, plundering 44 at Real Madrid and three for Juventus – long-time rival Lionel Messi has 46 since the Sporting CP product's first club hat-trick.

Of course, Ronaldo's reliability from the penalty spot has helped his goals tally, with his 84 spot-kicks since August 2009 being 31 more than any other player (Messi, 53) across the top five European leagues.

That could impact Bruno Fernandes' numbers, given he has been United's regular taker since joining from Sporting last year, missing just one of 22 attempts.

Nevertheless, United fans will be eager to see the two Portugal team-mates link up for the first time at club level, and Fernandes will be the main danger supporting Ronaldo in attack, while the in-form Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho can provide threat from the flanks.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit out at the "farcical" situation that could prevent Brazil international Fred from playing for Manchester United this weekend.

United blocked Fred from joining up with his national side for their triple-leader of September World Cup qualifiers due to Brazil being on the United Kingdom's travel red list amid the coronavirus pandemic.

That would mean players having to isolate in a hotel for a minimum of 10 days upon their return, ruling them out for at least three matches.

However, the ​Brazilian Football Confederation has asked FIFA to enforce a law that would block players not released from representing their countries for at least five days.

Should that be the case, Fred will not be available for selection to face Newcastle United on Saturday, although United are still waiting on official confirmation.

Solskjaer has now joined Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, who are also set to be without some key players over the coming days, in calling on FIFA to show some common sense.

"It is a lose, lose, lose situation for everyone, national teams, players, clubs," he said at a pre-match news conference on Friday. "It has been a farce. 

"The players want to play. We know the situation we find ourselves in. We've had to try and find a way, but all the decisions have gone against the players.

"I'm disappointed with the whole thing. We need to prepare without Fred but fingers crossed some sense can come into it and we can use him."

Fred has started all three games for United so far this season and is second only to defender Harry Maguire (152) for successful passes (133), while only Aaron Wan-Bissaka (five) has intercepted the ball more times than the Brazilian (four).

While the 28-year-old's availability remains uncertain, Solskjaer confirmed returning forward Cristiano Ronaldo is in line for his second debut this weekend.

In further good news for United, who have seven points from the first nine on offer, Jadon Sancho is also available despite withdrawing from the England squad with a knock.

"Jadon has come back in with a minor problem but he's trained the last couple of days," Solskjaer said. 

"He's disappointed he couldn't play for England but determined to be fit and he’s available. So that's a positive. 

"The international break, we didn't get anyone injured.

"Luke [Shaw], Harry [Maguire] and Victor [Lindelof] played late on Wednesday night so they've not had a lot of recovery but they will be available, I think."

United have lost just one of their last 36 home league games against Newcastle (W26 D9), with that defeat coming in December 2013 when David Moyes was in charge.

The Red Devils have scored at least once in each of their last 14 Premier League home games, meanwhile, netting 40 times in total (2.9 per game).

Cristiano Ronaldo will "definitely" make his second Manchester United debut in Saturday's Premier League clash with Newcastle United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner completed a sensational return to Old Trafford two weeks ago for an initial fee of £12.9million (€15m) on a two-year deal with the option of a third.

After being granted permission to leave Portugal duty early and then serving a period of isolation, Ronaldo reported to United's training ground for the first time on Tuesday.

He started training with his new team-mates on Wednesday and is now set to play his first Premier League game since May 2009 – the longest gap between appearances in the competition's history – this weekend.

"He had a good pre-season with Juventus, he's played for his national team and has had a good week with us here," Solskjaer said at Friday's pre-match news conference.

"He will definitely be on the pitch at some point, that's for sure."

Ronaldo scored 188 goals in 292 games in his first spell at United, which lasted for six years before he joined Real Madrid in 2009.

Despite that prolific return in front of goal, the Portugal captain scored just one hat-trick across that previous stint – against Saturday's opponents Newcastle in January 2008.

And Solskjaer expects the former Juventus man's return to also help get the most out of others in the squad as United look to build on a return of two wins and a draw from their opening three Premier League games.

"Everyone is very happy to have him back. He can speak for himself but he seems happy to be back as well," Solskjaer said. 

"The mood has been good and we're looking forward to Saturday.

"The way he has come in and conducted himself... we know what he's achieved in his career but he's coming here to achieve more. 

"He's lived the life of a top professional ever since he came here. You can't go into training and give 95 per cent and not be focused, that's what he demands from everyone."

Ronaldo has remained prolific across nine years with Real Madrid and three with Juventus, scoring a combined 551 goals in 572 matches in all competitions.

Asked what he is expecting from a player that finished top of the Serie A scoring charts in his last season with Juve, Solskjaer said: "Everyone evolves and develops throughout their career.

"Cristiano is a different player to the one who left but he's in such good nick still and will be looking in next few years to play and score as many goals as he can but also to be on the end of crosses and he's added something extra.

"We don't have his skill set in the team, the mix, no one has really. He is one of the best players that's ever played the game.

"He has developed, he has evolved as age goes by you have to change your game a little bit. You won't see those 18, 19, 20 stepovers before he goes past you.

"He has developed into one of the most accurate finishers. What he has developed on at Real Madrid has impressed us all. He is one of the best in the air, he still hits the target 99 out of 100 times when he shoots from outside the box as well. 

"He knows the game more, the positions and he is still as quick as he was it looks like, from the stats. Everyone is going to look up to him and he is going to be a leader in this dressing room."

Manchester United have a "massive" opportunity to win multiple titles this season following the return of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, according to former Red Devils winger Jesper Olsen.

Ronaldo is back at Old Trafford after re-joining United from Serie A giants Juventus before the transfer window closed last week – the all-time leading goalscorer in men's international football signing a two-year contract with the option for a third in Manchester.

The 36-year-old won one of his five Ballon d'Or trophies with United, scoring 118 goals in 292 games across his first spell in Manchester as he clinched three Premier League titles and the Champions League – a competition he has since won four more times – before moving to Real Madrid in 2009.

Formerly a dazzling winger but now a penalty-box poacher, Ronaldo has netted 674 times across 895 club games in all competitions, averaging a goal every 108 minutes.

Between his entrance on the Premier League stage and his final appearance in May 2009, Frank Lampard (131) and Thierry Henry (124) were the only two to have a hand in more English top-flight goals than Ronaldo (118) – Henry (92) the only one to outscore Ronaldo's 84.

After his 12-year absence, Ronaldo – who scored the first of his 48 club hat-tricks against Newcastle United in 2008 – is in line to make his debut against the Magpies in the Premier League on Saturday, and former United winger Olsen is excited about the Portuguese's second coming.

"I think it's fantastic. It's a great way to finish his career I suppose. He is 36 now," Olsen, who won the FA Cup during his four years at United in the 1980s, told Stats Perform.

"I was doing a lot of work in Manchester at the time when he arrived, we looked after Wayne Rooney – our sports management company – I can only see the whole thing being positive.

"The stature of the guy and also the players around him getting to play with him and learn from him. Exciting for the Premier League, absolutely."

Not since 2012-13 – Alex Ferguson's final season in charge – have United won the Premier League, while the Red Devils have not celebrated silverware since claiming the Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield in 2016-17.

United, who finished second to rivals Manchester City in the Premier League in 2020-21, surprisingly lost to Villarreal in last season's Europa League final.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United have won two of their opening three league fixtures this season, ahead of Newcastle's visit to the Theatre of Dreams.

Ronaldo's last Premier League appearance was in May 2009 against Arsenal – if he faces Newcastle, it will set a new record for the longest gap between appearances in the competition's history (12 years, 118 days).

His last Premier League goal came 12 years and 124 days ago, against City in May 2009. Assuming he scores again for the Red Devils, only one player has ever had a longer gap between Premier League goals – Matt Jackson (13 years and 187 days between May 1993 and November 2006).

"It [Ronaldo's arrival] certainly hasn't made United weaker as a team. It isn't easy to win anything, we know that," Olsen continued. "We talk about Tottenham who haven't won anything for a long time. The Premier League is hard.

"The way United played last season, they got some rhythm and continuation in terms of winning matches. I think they have the spine and now the belief as well. The players seem to have settled in.

"The mixture of younger players, too. The likes of [Paul] Pogba and [Bruno] Fernandes performing well, [Edinson] Cavani coming on to score goals, [Mason] Greenwood as well. I think it's a really good mix. We know there's a lot of different competitions. It's a long season. It can only help them with that squad they have."

With United also bringing in top transfer target Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund and World Cup-winning defender Raphael Varane via Real Madrid, pressure is on manager Solskjaer to deliver.

"Every year, if you play for United, you're expected to win titles – players and managers. Obviously, he came to United with a bit of experience but it's a massive club and a huge task," ex-Denmark international Olsen added.

"…It has to click but they definitely have a massive chance to not win one title but possibly a few over the next 12 months.

"It takes time but if you look as a player, and I don't think at any stage or age, if you look around Europe, the bigger clubs you can join, United surely stands as one of those at the top.

"They have certainly been on reliant on a way of playing that suits the team. They will have a lot of ball now with the way they play. It's a lot more settled. They've done really well in terms of signings. It can take some time to settle at United, but after a long time in the wilderness I suppose, it's settled down.

"Solskjaer is very calm and very structured. He knows what he's doing with his management team. It's a very exciting season. Obviously, it all depends on the games and if you win of course."

While fans and pundits have been buoyed by United's transfer business in 2021-22, one recent signing has been left in the wilderness.

Donny Van de Beek joined from Ajax last season amid much fanfare, however the Netherlands international is yet to make an appearance this term, having made just four Premier League starts in 2020-21.

"It doesn't make sense because we all know what he did for Ajax, but there's obviously something that the way Solskjaer wants to play doesn't fit in," Olsen, who also played for Dutch giants Ajax, said. "There's no doubt that you don't become a bad player overnight.

"Maybe he is getting used to a different style and system. Sometimes it takes a while but of course there would be people watching because you don't want to go two-three years without playing when you're such an exciting player who has done so much already."

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