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Everton manager Frank Lampard heaped praise on Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo after he became the first player in football history to score 700 goals at club level.

After coming on a first half substitute following an injury to Anthony Martial, the 37-year-old forward proved his critics wrong on Sunday by scoring the winner at Goodison Park as United came out 2-1 winners.

Ronaldo, who has been relegated to the bench on numerous occasions this season, was praised by his manager, Erik ten Hag, after the full-time whistle.

“To score 700 goals is a huge performance,” he said. “I’m really happy for him. I congratulate him on that performance and I’m also happy as it’s his first goal this season in the Premier League.

“He had to wait for it and I’m sure there will be more goals.”

Image credit: AlamyTen Hag wasn’t the only manager to prase Portugal all-time top goalscorer. In his post-match press conference, Everton boss Frank Lampard paid tribute to Ronaldo after he reached a landmark 700 goals.

“It is just outstanding, isn’t it?” Lampard said about the achievement.

“He’s one of the greatest players that has graced the game in an era when we have had himself and Messi. The comparison doesn’t matter, they are just both incredible players in football’s history.

“To be going and look as physically good as he looks, to keep scoring goals as he’s done, the numbers he has racked up have become normal, abnormal numbers become normal year after year, looking after himself in the right way.”

He added: “I don’t know him particularly well but you can do nothing but admire those numbers.

“When he was on 699, I wanted him to score in the Europa League the other night because you could feel might come at the weekend and then he comes on, because Martial’s got a problem. Sometimes those things happen in football.

“But in the cold light of day I’ll give him huge credit for that, it’s amazing.”

Last year, during an interview with Gary Neville on The Overlap YouTube channel, former England international Lampard revealed that he had changed his opinion on the widely-debated ‘Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo’ question.

“You know what, I’ve always been a Messi man… and then I watched your debate with Jamie Carragher recently,” he said.

“I actually think for what Ronaldo’s output and actual numbers and goals in big finals, and semi-finals like we’ve seen. I think I maybe give him the edge now.”

Knowing how much controversy his comments were going to spark, Lampard added: “That’s gonna start a load of hate now.”

The Chelsea legend is clearly a huge fan of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and in 2009, he produced an incredible moment of honesty to stop Ronaldo from getting sent off.

Manchester United beat Chelsea 3-0 at Old Trafford courtesy of goals from Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov.

It was a relatively straightforward afternoon for the Reds but things could have turned sour when Ronaldo, who was already on a yellow card, produced a poor, studs-up challenge on Lampard.

A free-kick was given and it looked like referee Howard Webb was about to send Ronaldo off, but Lampard stepped in and defused the situation.