United acquired 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.
Nevertheless, United emerged from the half-time break trying like a totally totally different aspect and Marcus Rashford’s early strike halved the deficit and acquired 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eight minutes remaining secured a 3-2 win to cap one other memorable Champions League night time below the lights at Outdated Trafford.
Sluggish begin, quick end
It was crucial United set the tone early on to try to earn the gang’s affection on an evening that might be fraught with stress and maybe essential to Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s tenure as supervisor.
Nevertheless, from the primary whistle that by no means appeared 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 tug the house protection aside as Atalanta then labored the ball properly to seek out Davide Zappacosta, whose low cross was changed into the online by Pasalic from shut vary.
Atalanta’s second objective was even worse, at the least 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 latest 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 may solely bend his shot broad of the put up. Ronaldo, a mere passenger within the sport up to now, held his arms outstretched in frustration as if he had anticipated a cross.
Rashford was then performed clear via on objective 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 appeared like a totally totally different group and Rashford lastly acquired his objective, operating onto Fernandes’ via ball and slotting the ball brilliantly into the far nook.
That strike modified all the 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 very 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 massive targets in massive moments and the Portuguese ahead now has one other so as to add to the checklist, as he headed residence from Luke Shaw’s good cross to notch his 137th objective on this competitors and ship Outdated Trafford wild.
Few inside United’s stadium may have been extra delighted with that objective 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 at the least — 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 stepping into at half time all-time low, and its followers might be hoping that second half show is an indication of issues to return.