Manchester United performance against Atalanta a ‘major worry’ despite comeback, says Paul Scholes

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late winner as United came from two goals down to beat Atalanta in the Champions League

Jamie Braidwood
Wednesday 20 October 2021 22:45
Comments
Scholes is afraid of how the protests will end
Scholes is afraid of how the protests will end

Manchester United’s first-half display against Atalanta in the Champions League was a “major worry”, former midfielder Paul Scholes insisted, despite their late comeback and Cristiano Ronaldo’s winner at Old Trafford.

United were two goals down at half time but stormed back to win three vital points in the Champions Legaue and ease the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But Scholes said United’s stirring comeback papered over the cracks and said he was concerned by United’s defensive performance ahead of the Premier League clash against Liverpool on Sunday.

“I get all the excitement [after United’s win] but that first half, it put me off the second half,” Scholes told BT Sport. “I just thought that if United were playing a better team, they [the opposition] would have been out of sight.

“It’s Atalanta, who had five players missing and a defender who had to go off at half time. It’s great and I get the excitement, but there was something that I didn’t enjoy. That first half was worrying.

“They looked anything apart from a team, for me. They lacked unity - it was the back four, the two midfielders and the rest. That for me was a worrying sign. Can they go and play against Liverpool like that? Manchester City, better teams in the Champions League? Never in a million years.

“I don’t want to sound like a party pooper because it’s a great night for the fans, it’s a great comeback. Cristiano the hero again, winning us the game. But that first half was a major worry for me.”

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand added: “In some ways I understand what Paul is saying, but I feel you’ve got to use that second half as a reference point.

“There was much more unity. They weren’t as easy to play through. But if anyone had any doubt that these players will run and fight for Ole, yes they will. They showed that in the second half and they’ve got to use that second half.

“Yes, they can improve tactically here and there but they can put a shift in. People were questioning them after Leicester but today they showed there was a togetherness.”

After they host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, United play Tottenham, Atalanta again in the Champions League before facing Manchester City in the Premier League.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in