Dynamic Ronaldo fires United to win over battling Dynamo
( AFP ) - Midfield maestro Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice to put Manchester United within touching distance of the Champions League's first knock-out round with a 4-2 win over spirited Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday night.
The Portuguese star outshone birthday boy Wayne Rooney who celebrated turning 22 on Wednesday with a goal at Kiev's NSC Olympiyskiy Stadium.
Defender Rio Ferdinand had given the English giants an early lead on 10 minutes, before Rooney snatched the second on 18 and Ronaldo struck either side of half-time.
Group F leaders United have now won all three of their group stage matches - and 10 of their last 11 games - while qualification is now almost impossible for bottom side Kiev.
When these sides last met in the Champions League at Old Trafford in November 2000, then captain Roy Keane described the corporate element of United's fans as having more interest in the "prawn sandwiches" than the football following his side's 1-0 win.
But United's small band of travelling fans certainly savoured the cocktail of creative football their side produced to comfortably dispatch the hard-working Ukrainian champions.
After two opening defeats to Sporting Lisbon and AS Roma, Dynamo were up against a United side close to full strength.
Captain Ryan Giggs and Ronaldo were on the wings with their lethal partnership of England striker Rooney and Argentinian Carlos Tevez in attack.
England midfielder Paul Scholes was missing after suffering a knee injury in training and is expected to have a scan when the team flies home.
Following wins over Sporting in Lisbon and Roma at Old Trafford, victory in Kiev means United are almost certain to qualify with two home games following against Kiev and Sporting next month.
Dynamo were without injured former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United forward Sergei Rebrov.
But coach Jozsef Szabo had two key African players back from injury in Senegal centre-back Pape Diakhate and Guinean forward Ismael Bangoura, who fired an early shot straight at United keeper Edwin van der Sar.
United took the lead when Ronaldo was felled by a heavy tackle from Tiberiu Ghioane and Giggs floated the free-kick for Ferdinand's header to beat Kiev goalkeeper and captain Olexandr Shovkovskiy.
The visitors made it 2-0 when Rooney slotted home on 18 minutes after a mix-up in the Kiev defence, but Dynamo hit back as Carlos Correa swung in a corner and Diogo Rincon headed home on 34 minutes.
United were 3-1 up at half-time when Giggs whipped in another cross and an unmarked Ronaldo smashed his header home on 41 minutes.
After the break, Kiev poured on the pressure at the other end only for defender Goran Gavrancic to concede a penalty by handling in the area and Ronaldo converted to make it 4-1 on 68 minutes.
Dynamo pulled a goal back when Bangoura hit a wonderful strike under the diving van der Sar on 78 minutes as the Ukrainians refused to give up the ghost.