MANCHESTER (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo headed in an 81st-minute winner as Manchester United got here from two objectives right down to beat Atalanta 3-2 in a pulsating Champions League Group F match at Outdated Trafford on Wednesday.
After a poor first-half show, with Atalanta taking a 2-Zero lead in on the break, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s crew turned the sport — and presumably their season — round with a thunderous efficiency.
The stress was on Solskjaer after Saturday’s 4-2 Premier League defeat at Leicester Metropolis and he opted to drop Paul Pogba to the bench however there was little signal of enchancment from that swap.
United have been disjointed and dispirited within the opening 45 minutes however raised their tempo and the amount from the Stretford Finish with a relentless push to victory that culminated within the Champions League’s report scorer demonstrating his brilliance in entrance of aim but once more.
Mario Pasalic put Atalanta forward within the 15th minute, delivering Davide Zappacosta’s low ball from shut vary and United, with only one win of their final 5 video games in all competitions, regarded drained of perception.
It was no nice shock when the Italian facet doubled their lead within the 29th minute with Merih Demiral rising on the close to submit to look in an angled header from a Teun Koopmeiners nook.
Fred and Marcus Rashford missed good possibilities for United earlier than the break however the house facet acquired themselves again into the sport within the 53rd minute.
A intelligent ball from Bruno Fernandes allowed Rashford to chop in from the left and he picked his spot with a shot into the far nook.
Scott McTominay struck the submit after connecting with Ronaldo’s cross however though United have been pushing for a leveller, the Italians have been nonetheless a menace and the hosts have been grateful to keeper David De Gea for an excellent double save to maintain out a drive from Duvan Zapata and follow-up from Ruslan Malinovskyi.
The stress paid off for United, although, after they drew stage with Harry Maguire drilling the ball house on the again submit after the static Atalanta defence did not intercept a Fernandes ball throughout the field.
Then got here the winner as Luke Shaw whipped in an excellent cross from the left and Ronaldo rose beautifully, timing his bounce and his header completely to energy the ball previous Musso.
“I used to be proper behind him. His leap, his timing, it was good proper within the nook,” Maguire mentioned.
“We see it day in, time out in coaching and within the objectives he has scored all through his profession. He has provide you with an enormous aim for us once more within the Champions League,” he added.
“We acquired the objectives we wanted and deserved and I feel we deserved the win ultimately. Sure, we made it troublesome however it’s a great victory ultimately.”
United prime the group after three video games on six factors with Atalanta and Villarreal two factors behind.