Having started the season on 698, few would have believed it would take the forward more than two months of the season to reach the milestone, but his limited role in the side has kept him waiting.
United looked to be in a for another frustrating night when Alex Iwobi put Everton in front in the opening minutes, before Antony continued his goalscoring run to get the visitors level.
After missing a host of chances in midweek in the Europa League, Ronaldo finally found the back of the net as he drilled a low effort in at the near post to put the visitors in front heading into the break and that proved to be enough.
The victory is a much-needed response to last week’s heavy Manchester derby defeat, and lifts United up to fifth in the Premier League table with a game in hand over three of the four sides above them.
Erik ten Hag brought Casemiro and Anthony Martial into the side at Goodison, but Ronaldo once again had to settle for a place on the bench in the Premier League. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was among the substitutes for Everton.
The Toffees took the lead inside five minutes and in spectacular fashion. Casemiro was caught on the ball, it was played to Iwobi and from more than 20 yards out he curled a brilliant strike past David de Gea and into the top corner.
That was Everton’s cue to drop back and they got everyone behind the ball as they shut off the space for United and frustrated the visitors. It was a set-up that relied on the hosts not giving the ball away and leaving themselves exposed, but that’s exactly what happened for United’s equaliser.
With 15 minutes on the clock, the visitors won the ball back and for the first time had space to exploit on the counter. Martial slid the ball through to Antony and he provided the composed finish, becoming the first United player to score in his first three Premier League appearances.
Martial was then forced off with injury just before the half hour mark, giving Ronaldo his chance to impress. He had a shot that he dragged straight at Pickford, while Casemiro missed a huge chance to put the visitors in front when he sent a free header wide.
The goal did come though, and it was a welcome one for Ronaldo as he finally reached the inevitable landmark. Again it came after a turnover, Casemiro setting his former Real Madrid team-mate away and Ronaldo did the rest as he hammered a low strike past Jordan Pickford.
The 37-year-old had a half-chance to make it 701 club goals after the break, as the cross was clipped in towards the back post but Ronaldo was unable to keep his header down. Fernandes behind him would likely have had a simple finish had his international team-mate left it, but that was never likely to happen.
Everton had a better spell and put United under sustained pressure for the first time, as crosses were swung into the box on a more regular basis. Neal Maupay was unable to divert the ball goalwards, before Amadou Onana headed over from a corner.
Calvert-Lewin came on with 15 minutes remaining, for his first appearance of the season following injury problems to give the hosts a boost, though Everton’s biggest lift came from a VAR decision. Marcus Rashford bundled his way past James Tarkowski and then Jordan Pickford to leave himself a tap-in, but it was ruled out for a handball as it bounced up onto the United man’s arm.
That set up a grandstand finish in the final few minutes, Onana heading just wide before De Gea did brilliantly to palm away a cross as the midfielder looked set to turn the ball home at the back post. The defending became increasingly desperate, but it got the job done.