Manchester United rescued by Ronaldo again

Manchester United

Manchester United and Atalanta battled to a draw in the Champions League. Two stoppage time goals in both the first and second half by Ronaldo helped Manchester United steal the point.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to stick with a similar formation that he used at the weekend against Spurs. Eric Bailly got the start over and injured Victor Lindelof and Marcus Rashford replaced Edinson Cavani.

First Half

Atalanta got the scoring underway quick like the last game. Manchester United were fine with allowing the Italians possession. Josip Ilicic made them pay, his left-footed shot should have probably been saved the reliable David de Gea. De Gea’s parry was bad and Gewiss Stadium celebrated.

United looked like they were going to go 2-0 down when a Paul Pogba mistake played in Duvan Zapata, but Eric Bailly heroically blocked the Colombians shot, bailing out Pogba and keeping the score at 1-0.

Ilicic and Zapata combined well much of the first half and looked a threat. Raphael Varane had some problems with Zapata and pulled up a little bit earlier in the first half when chasing a ball down the channel. Varane sat down in the 37th minute and had to be subbed.

The sub forced Ole to go back to the 4-2-3-1 by bringing on Mason Greenwood.

Manchester United would tie the match at the beginning of stoppage time, Bruno Fernandes was played in by Mason Greenwood, Bruno then splendidly back-heeled a pass to Ronaldo, who easily slotted it by Juan Musso.

Probably lucky to be level, but Atalanta should have been more clinical.

Second Half

A frantic beginning of the second half yielded shots for both sides. Tackles, half chances, good passing between teammates and some close offsides from both teams made it interesting early.

Zapata finally got his goal. Zapata was played in behind with a long ball, Maguire tried to play him offside and could not get over fast enough to cover and Zapata easily beat de Gea.

Zapata was called offside but VAR overturned it to give Atalanta a 2-1 lead with more than a half of a hour to hold onto the lead.

The game looked destined for the three points, but of course, Ronaldo. United could not getting anything going after the Zapata goal as Atalanta looked to close out the game.

Out of nothing Ronaldo struck a shot from outside the box that nestled in the corner beating Musso to steal a point for United.

Manchester United Standout Performers

Not many good performances all around from United players. A good moment here and there for some players, some bad moments for others.

One player who I thought performed well was Bailly. You could make an argument that Bailly and Maguire were culprits of the second goal. Where was Bailly on the long ball over the top? Maguire has a huge share of the blame too.

Without some great challenges by Bailly it could have been 3-1 or 4-1.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka had some good moments. Luke Shaw on the other flank too. Nothing good enough to stand out.

Ronaldo, of course. The man of the match again.

UCL Outlook

Manchester United and Villarreal are top of the group with seven points, Villarreal leads on goal differential. Atalanta stay at third with four points.

United and Villarreal will square off in Old Trafford later in the month.

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