Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will doubtless Manchester United’s comeback down to the spirit and soul of the club, and it is true to say that this 3-2 win over Atalanta again showed that this team are at the very least playing for their manager. Cristiano Ronaldo offered yet another late match-winning moment, on another raucous European night.
It was just that this victory was as much down to the willingness of a depleted Atalanta side to persevere with their approach to the point that risk became recklessness. Gian Piero Gasperini’s one-on-one approach gave United countless opportunities, that they were eventually going to take up.
Another truth is that, as bad as this game was at half-time, United probably should have won about 8-2 rather than 3-2 by virtue of the chances created. They missed so many.
Or perhaps that should be 8-3, since David De Gea made yet another crucial and brilliant save from Duvan Zapata with the score at 2-2.
It felt so significant in the very moment of the stop, especially since it had such echoes of what happened against Villarreal - right down to what eventually happened. But that is why, even allowing for the fact United are now top of the group and surely en route for the last 16, it feels wrong to talk about this as any kind of turning point.
More from Maguire
Harry Maguire broke down where things went wrong for United in the first half and why his teammates still had belief they could win the game despite being two goals down. He said:
Cristiano Ronaldo completes Manchester United’s comeback win over Atalanta on wild Champions League night
It was the sort of script that is loved at this club, but it’s impossible to escape the feeling this one was used to paper over cracks that are by now huge gaps.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will doubtless put this down to the spirit and soul of the club, and it is true to say that this 3-2 win over Atalanta again showed that this team are at the very least playing for their manager. Cristiano Ronaldo offered yet another late match-winning moment, on another raucous European night.
Manchester United 3-2 Atalanta: Rashford, Maguire and Ronaldo ensure remarkable turnaround at Old Trafford
Manchester United vs Atalanta: Five things we learned as Marcus Rashford stars in thrilling comeback
Man United 3-2 Atalanta: First-half goals for Pasalic and Demiral cancelled out by Rashford and Maguire after the break - before Ronaldo’s late winner
Maguire on scoring his first Champions League goal
Harry Maguire netted a first goal in the Champions League for Manchester United to give his team the equaliser and set up a dramatic finish at Old Trafford. Understandably, he was pleased about it saying:
Reaction from Harry Maguire
A delighted Harry Maguire spoke to BT Sport after the match and said:
Last-gasp Cristiano Ronaldo header completes stunning Manchester United comeback
There was intense scrutiny on the 1999 treble hero and his players heading into the Group F encounter after Saturday’s embarrassing loss at Leicester compounded recent poor performances.
United were staring down the barrel of a fifth loss in eight matches and were booed by some fans as they trudged off at half-time trailing by two goals, only for Solskjaer’s side to storm back memorably at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils were losing 2-0 at home to Atalanta.
Ronaldo rescues Man Utd again
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in three consecutive Champions League games for Manchester United for the second time, previously doing so in November 2007 en route to winning the trophy with the Red Devils.
A sign of things to come perhaps?
Man Utd 3 - 2 Atalanta
Manchester United have won a Champions League game from two or more goals down for the third time. No side has done so more often in the competition with Arsenal also doing so three times.
Manchester United complete comeback win over Atalanta
Marcus Rashford got the ball rolling, Harry Maguire equalised and Cristiano Ronaldo headed home the winning goal.
Man Utd 3 - 2 Atalanta
Two goals down at half-time and bottom of Group F. Manchester United responded beautifully, they took the game to Atalanta in the second half, scored three goals and claimed all three points, ending the night top of the group.
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