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Oxford 1 - 4 Man Utd

Cristiano Ronaldo shrugged off jeers from rival fans to star in Manchester United's 4-1 win over Oxford United in a pre-season friendly.

The Portugal international was made public enemy number one for his perceived role in getting United teammate Wayne Rooney sent off in the World Cup quarter-final against England last month.

And the Oxford United fans ensured the winger was given a rowdy reception on his first game back on English soil, but he brushed it off with aplomb, swerving home a brilliant 14th minute volley.

Much had been made of Ronaldo's return, 38 days since he helped get Rooney sent off and fired home the penalty which knocked England out of the World Cup.

But the security concerns expressed over the former Sporting Lisbon star appeared to have been greatly exaggerated.

There were no police inside the stadium at all and, while the number of safety officers present had been beefed up, it was only in response to the arrival of a United side containing nine internationals rather than the reserve team which had originally been expected when the fixture was agreed a couple of months ago.

Even the boos were more routine than venomous and the 21-year-old felt relaxed enough to offer team-mate Kieran Richardson a broad grin as he ran out for the second half.

The contest was only six minutes old when Ronaldo made his first imprint on the game, touching a pass to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer inside the Oxford box which allowed the veteran striker to blast a shot into the roof of the net.

Ronaldo's opener followed not that long afterwards. It was Louis Saha, also making his first appearance since heartbreakingly missing the World Cup final through suspension, who provided the cushioned lay-off to Phil Bardsley's cross.

The right-foot finish was exquisite, starting off wide of Turley's far post before curling in.

Darren Fletcher added another two minutes later and while Robert Duffy powered home a far-post header before the break, Ronaldo quickly restored United's three-goal lead after half-time.

Yet again, the finish was right-footed, curling a shot into the bottom corner this time after David Jones had fed him with a short pass.

There was to be no hat-trick, even though Ronaldo was pushed into a more orthodox striker's role until he was replaced by Giuseppe Rossi.
 
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