|Attempts on target||89||68|
|Attempts off target||94||62|
"This season is more difficult than last season – last season was more natural." Cristiano Ronaldo may have been talking about Manchester United FC after their recent blip in the Premier League but these words could apply just as readily to his own fortunes this term.
When you score 42 goals, win the UEFA Champions League and collect the European and world player prizes, topping that is not easy and there is no question the Portugal forward has not shone with the same intensity as in 2007/08. Last summer's uncertainty over his future at Old Trafford may not have helped and a pre-season ankle operation certainly did not, but Ronaldo – who reiterated on Monday that United "is the right club for me" – is finding his best form at precisely the right time according to his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.
'The goals are coming'
"He has settled down and his form is returning in the last few weeks," said Sir Alex. "The goals are starting to come for him now." "Difficult" season or otherwise, the player's two-goal performance in Sunday's vital 3-2 victory against Aston Villa FC underlined his priceless, instinctive ability to produce moments of brilliance when it matters most. Particularly the low left-footed strike that found the bottom corner to draw United level at 2-2, just when the champions looked set for a third straight Premier League defeat.
Last term's leading UEFA Champions League goalscorer did not get off the mark in this campaign until the second-leg victory over FC Internazionale Milano last month, but despite Dimitar Berbatov's arrival having prompted his return to a wide position, the 24-year-old now has 20 in all competitions. He sounded in confident mood as he looked forward to Tuesday's quarter-final first leg against FC Porto.
The winger said: "Man United are a massive club and the game yesterday shows that. We were losing 2-1 [to Villa] after 80 minutes and in ten minutes we turned it round. We're winning games and we are top again [in England]. We have everything it takes to win the Champions League as well. We are in a good moment, we have to beat Porto and we have a chance to win the same trophies as last season."
Ronaldo spoke to Porto pair Bruno Alves and Raul Meireles while on international duty last week and described the Portuguese champions as a "dangerous team". He said: "We know [forwards] Hulk and Lisandro, they are very good players. But we have to take into account the whole team – Bruno Alves and Raul Meireles are strong at free-kicks and we have to be aware of that. They are having a great season in Portugal and in the Champions League."
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