It just had to be.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in his first appearance since returning to Manchester United.
And despite not seeing much of the ball in the first half, he repaid manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s faith by tapping home a parried Mason Greenwood shot on the stroke of half-time, sending the home crowd into raptures.
The Red Devils had struggled to break down their stubborn opponents before Greenwood’s potshot in the third minute of added time at the end of the half, and the Magpies had looked threatening on the break, with Joe Willock having one decent opportunity after a mistake by Bruno Fernandes.
United had been limited to half-chances, with Harry Maguire having a header comfortably saved and his centre-back partner Raphael Varane seeing his own headed attempt flash across goal and drift just wide of the far post.
But this is precisely why the 36-year-old was brought back to the club: to snatch a goal – and potentially set up a win – out of nowhere.
It was a strike that is indicative of the kind of player Ronaldo has become in the latter stages of his career; no longer a flying winger with dazzlingly quick feet, he has adapted his game to become a poacher of the very highest order.
Now he’s off the mark, expect the goals to flow for the legendary attacker, back at the club where he made his name all those years ago.
United were pegged back in the second period, with former Liverpool defender Javier Manquillo tapping home to equalise ten minutes into the second period.