Cristiano Ronaldo scored a sensational hat-trick on a record-breaking night for the Portuguese as Manchester United kept their top four hopes alive against Tottenham.
United sealed a 3-2 win to move back into fourth place with Ronaldo scoring twice in the first-half either side of Harry Kane’s penalty to become the leading goal scorer in the history of the men’s game.
Tottenham drew level in the second-half after a Harry Maguire own goal but Ronaldo was again United’s saviour, rising to slam home a third with nine minutes of the contest remaining.
Ronaldo matched the record held by Austrian-Czech Josef Bican in extraordinary fashion 12 minutes in, lashing home career goal no.805 with a sublime strike from 25 yards out.
It came very much against the run of play as Tottenham exposed United’s backline early on – with Eric Dier denied a goal after a goal line clearance from Diogo Dalot.
The equaliser came after 35 minutes with Dejan Kulusevski causing problems down the right. When his cross bounced off the outstretched arm of Allex Telles, referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot with Kane ruthlessly dispatching.
Ronaldo’s record-breaking moment came three minutes later, latching onto Jadon Sancho’s perfectly-timed cross to make history with his 806th career goal.
United invited pressure upon themselves again in the second-half and were punished when Sergio Reguilon’s cross found its way into the back of the net off Maguire.
To add insult to injury, Cristian Romero, who Reguilon was trying to cross to, was offside with the goal likely to have been chalked off.
A draw or defeat would have served as another major blow for United’s top four hopes with Arsenal now holding four games in hand over their rivals.
But Ronaldo was their saviour again, however, sealing his first hat-trick for the club since January 2008 after rising above Matt Doherty to slam home a towering header from a Telles corner.