Madrid made a late switch to 4-3-3 as Isco made way for Lucas Vazquez, but the change proved futile as Tottenham picked up a memorable point on their travels.
Harry Winks brought much-needed composure to Spurs' play, but the youngster gifted Ronaldo a breakaway chance, only for the Frenchman to tip over his explosive volley.
"Cristiano has to win it, there's no question about that", he said, speaking ahead of Madrid's Champions League clash with Tottenham. The first exam was passed with flying colours when they beat Borussia Dortmund in Germany but home to Spurs could be even trickier due to very indifferent form at the Bernabeu.
Ronaldo has helped Madrid to win the competition in three of the last four seasons, breaking scoring records and earning individual accolades including the Ballon d'Or along the way.
Radamel Falcao got the scoring going for Monaco right on the half-hour mark, turning his right-footed shot home from a Keita Balde assist to make it 1-0.
There is often a strangely subdued atmosphere around the old arena for these La Liga matches.
"Are the club going to match his ambitions?"
In addition to the Champions League fixture, a couple of factors have made such speculation inevitable. Under the lights, with a sense that the team will be tested and needs supporting not whistling the atmosphere is far better. Also, the Spanish giants have a habit of signing the best players in the world and there is no doubt Kane is now in that category.
That quote further endeared him to the locals nearly as much as him saying he could never coach Barcelona.
Based on Kane's incredible 2017, Tottenham fans will fear an approach could be coming sooner rather than later.
But none of that will stop Madrid believing - as you'd expect from the team that has won both the last two tournaments - that they will take all three points tonight, and the three up for grabs at Wembley too.
A lively looking Spurs side found their goal in the 27th minute when Raphael Varane inadvertently poked a Serge Aurier cross into his own net while under pressure from Kane. And he will have Karim Benzema alongside him.
"The atmosphere here is very good and this team has no limits. The performance was fantastic, the effort, the belief, it is important to congratulate our players, it is so important the effort from them".