In truth, the catalyst for the flare up was a horrible foul by Newcastle’s Steven Taylor.
With just seconds remaining in the first half the pair had a coming together right on the right hand touchline as Taylor appeared to strike Ronaldo on the side of the face. As mayÂ have been expected, Ronaldo went down like the proverbial sack of potatoes, with the Portuguese winger bellowing out a yelp as he hit the deck with a thud.
The incident can be seen here.
What happened afterwards is the stuff the tabloids dream of. As the pair were heading down the tunnel, Ronaldo is claimed to have said to Taylor “Your style of football is s**t,” with the Newcastle centre-half snapping back with the lame comeback, “Well you are ugly!”
With arguably the best critique of the events, Sam Wallace pointed out that “Steven Taylor’s half-time retort to Cristiano Ronaldo [was] on the grand scale of witty comebacks, more Vicky Pollard than Oscar Wilde. Yet, in its own inarticulate way, it summed up the helplessness that the rest of the League is experiencing in the face of United’s onslaught.”
UPDATE: A much better video showing Steven Taylor’s foul on Cristiano Ronaldo can be seen here.