Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick in the 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, Dean Ashton has warned Manchester United are an average team without Ronaldo.
“It was Cristiano Ronaldo at his scintillating best, wasn’t it?” Ashton told talkSPORT.
“It just shows that the top, top players, the best, they maybe take some criticism at times and take that on their own shoulders, but they respond.
“They put any doubts in anyone’s minds straight out because that’s what they’ve done their whole career, they’ve got such a strong mentality.
“He’s got one of the strongest mentalities and he’s come out today and just been incredible in the way that he’s taken his chances, the goals were fantastic.
“The first goal’s a wonder strike, then the hat-trick goal is just an incredible Michael Jordan-like leap and a powerful header.
“It was as if he was rolling back the years.
“Yes, he doesn’t give you much more anymore other than that, but who cares when he can do that?”
He continued: “Cristiano Ronaldo has just shown why people pay good money and this place was packed.
“Everyone wants to see Cristiano Ronaldo play because he can produce moments like that.
“There’ll be kids up and down the country just in awe of those goals today and that’s what a top player brings.
“You can’t take away from the fact that’s him that has got Manchester United the win today.
“Without him and those clinical finishes, they would have looked an incredibly average team today.”