Cristiano Ronaldo completes stunning Manchester United comeback against Atalanta
United obtained off to the worst begin conceivable as targets from Mario Pasalic and Merih Demiral gave the visiting Italian aspect a 2-0 lead contained in the opening half an hour.
Nonetheless, United emerged from the half-time break trying like a very totally different aspect and Marcus Rashford’s early strike halved the deficit and obtained the house supporters rocking.
Captain Harry Maguire then drew United degree with a wise end quarter-hour from time, earlier than a trademark Ronaldo leap and header with simply eight minutes remaining secured a 3-2 win to cap one other memorable Champions League evening below the lights at Outdated Trafford.
It was crucial United set the tone early on to try to earn the group’s affection on an evening that might be fraught with pressure and maybe essential to Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s tenure as supervisor.
Nonetheless, from the primary whistle that by no means seemed probably as Atalanta started on the entrance foot and opened the scoring inside quarter-hour.
It took only a easy, hopeful cross into United’s half to drag the house protection aside as Atalanta then labored the ball properly to seek out Davide Zappacosta, whose low cross was become the web by Pasalic from shut vary.
Atalanta’s second purpose was even worse, not less than from a United perspective.
All it took to interrupt down the United’s protection this time was Teun Koopmeiners’ nook, which was headed residence by the utterly unmarked Demiral.
Atalanta’s two first-half targets solely served to focus on United’s current defensive woes, which have seen Solskjær’s aspect hold only one clear sheet in its earlier 20 matches.
Fred then missed an enormous likelihood to halve the deficit simply earlier than the half-time break after being discovered within the field by an exquisite first-time cross from Fernandes, however the midfielder might solely bend his shot broad of the put up. Ronaldo, a mere passenger within the sport thus far, held his arms outstretched in frustration as if he had anticipated a cross.
Rashford was then performed clear by on purpose moments later, however his shot clipped the highest of the crossbar in what was the final effort of an action-packed first half.
There have been boos from the house supporters because the United gamers made their method off the pitch, however these jeers quickly turned to cheers within the second half.
United seemed like a very totally different workforce and Rashford lastly obtained his purpose, operating onto Fernandes’ by ball and slotting the ball brilliantly into the far nook.
That strike modified the whole dynamic of the match and it felt like only a matter of time earlier than United would discover an equalizer, however goalkeeper David De Gea nonetheless needed to make two important saves to make sure Atalanta did not restore its two-goal lead.
Thankfully for United, this season it has a participant who has scored significantly extra Champions League targets than that — 136 extra to be exact.
A lot of Ronaldo’s profession has been outlined by huge targets in huge moments and the Portuguese ahead now has one other so as to add to the record, as he headed residence from Luke Shaw’s sensible cross to notch his 137th purpose on this competitors and ship Outdated Trafford wild.
Few inside United’s stadium could have been extra delighted with that purpose than Solskjær, who has been compelled to bat away an growing variety of questions on his job safety following a string of unhealthy outcomes.
The win will ease the stress — for a short while not less than — however the Norwegian coach is aware of his aspect nonetheless has loads to work on after that first-half efficiency.
United now tops Group F, regardless of moving into at half time all-time low, and its followers can be hoping that second half show is an indication of issues to come back.