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Home   /   Manchester United vs Atalanta: Ronaldo saves the day, AGAIN!

Match Preview

UEFA Champions League Group Stage

Stadium: Old Trafford

Kick-off: 20:00 BST

Welcome to this Group F encounter between Manchester United and Atalanta. This is the first time these two teams are facing each other in any competition. The team from Italy come into this fixture on the back of some good form whereas United have managed only one win in their last five outings (3L 1D). Atalanta have done relatively better with three victories in their last five games (1L 1D). The pressure is on Ole and his men to deliver or this might be the last time we see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in a Manchester United dugout.

Team News

Manchester United (subs): Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Edinson Cavani, Eric Bailly, Donny Van De Beek, Diogo Dalot, Paul Pogba, Alex Telles, Juan Mata, Dean Henderson, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Elanga

Atalanta (subs): Roberto Piccoli, Giorgio Scalvini, Duvan Zapata, Francesco Rossi, Ruslan Malinovskyi, Matteo Lovato, Aleksey Miranchuk, Marco Sportiello, Giuseppe Pezzella

19:05 Less than an hour before kick-off

Much of the talk in build up to today’s game is focused around Manchester United’s manager

19:30 Both sets of players are out for warm-up

18:00 Kick-off

Off we go. United get things underway attacking left to right

3′: Marcus Rashford misses a huge chance

Lovely intricate pass played by Greenwood for Mctominay who plays Rashford through on goal and Rashford fires it wide. Offside flag comes to his rescue

8′ Wonderful pace to the game

Both teams have started well. This promises to be a grate watch for the neutrals. Some end to end stuff going on.

13′ Medhi Demiral looks in discomfort

The Turkish defender is continuously stretching and if he is to come off Atalanta will be without their three first choice CBs.

15′ Goal for Atalanta

Poor goal for United to concede. United are caught out with a quick freekick. Nobody picks up the run of Zappacosta who plays a low ball across the goal and Pasalic gets ahead of McTominay to tap it in.

20′ Great save

Good play by Ronaldo who chips in a ball from the right wing and finds Fred who brings it down and shoots. Juan Musso makes a save from his fingertips. The ball goes over the bar for a united corner.

22′ Good block

United are turning it up to find an equaliser. Ronaldo sets up Bruno whose shot is well blocked by Palomino

25′ United corner

Bruno Fernandes plays a short pass to Marcus Rashford who makes space to shoot but is brilliantly blocked by Ilicic

26′ Ronaldo shot on target

Ronaldo takes ball from Aaron Wan Bissaka and drives into the penalty area. Takes a shot but it easily saved by Atalanta Number 1.

28′ Corner to Atalanta. They score again!

It’s gone from bad to worse for United. Maguire is caught sleeping and pays the price. A pacey delivery on the near post and Demiral guides it to the far corner. De Gea stood there as a spectator. Absolutely no chance for him to save that.

34′ Alert goalkeeping from Juan Musso

De Gea plays a long pass which almost sets Rashford through but Musso intervenes and kicks it out. United throw-in.

36′ Ronaldo goes down in the box

Referee waves away his protest and the replay shows why. Demiral does well to put Ronaldo under pressure and makes him shoot wide.

39′ Atalanta playing as a team

Atalanta are really playing well. It is not easy to find gaps. They are happy for United to keep the ball and hit them on the counter.

42′ Muriel shot on target

Muriel finds himself in a bit of space just outside the United box. But his shot is a tame one straight at David De Gea who has no difficulties dealing with it.

42′ What a tackle from Demiral!

Bruno Fernandes plays a fantastic pass which has Rashford through on goal. Demiral shouldn’t have been allowed to make that tackle. He celebrates it as he has scored a goal while the offside flag goes up. But the replay clearly shows Rashford was onside and the goal would have stood if it was not for Merih Demiral.

44′ Fred misses another huge chance

Exceptional touch from Bruno Fernandes to Fred who gets in the box shifts the ball on his right foot and somehow manages to miss the target. Ronaldo stood in the box unmarked. Fred had United’s two best chances this half.

45+1′ Rashford hits the bar

We are in one minute additional time. Bruno floats in a ball and Demiral completely misses it. Rashford is through on goal and unfortunately hits the bar.

HT: Manchester United 0-2 Atalanta

United look like a bunch of superstars who have been put together but lack cohesion. Atalanta have clearly been the better team. United’s midfield is absent as usual and you feel a bit for the two central defenders who are exposed without any protection. A huge second-half is coming up for United. As things stand they are at the bottom of their group. We will see if the players are willing to fight for their manager or the time has finally come for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to face the axe.

Second-Half Begins

46′ Substitution for Atalanta

A very inexperienced back three for Atalanta now. Let’s see if the reds can take advantage of this.

48′ Ronaldo shot saved

It’s Bruno Fernandes again who is at the heart of creating things. Picks out Ronaldo whose shot is saved from point blank range by the Atalanta keeper and Rashford puts the follow-on wide. Ronaldo should have scored.

50′ Rashford shoots wide

Fernandes corner is cleared by Lovato and the ball breaks kindly for Rashford at the edge of the box but he fails to trouble the keeper.

53′ United are back in it! Goal!

What a ball from Bruno. Ilisic plays a loose pass but what a first time pass from Bruno. Exceptional presence of mind to pick out Marcus Rashford who coolly slots the ball past Musso. Game on.

55′ Yellow card for Lovato

Pulls Ronaldo down just outside the box.

56′ Atalanta make a change

56′ Ronaldo FK wide

57′ A cluster of yellow cards for Atalanta players

They are certainly feeling the heat now. Pasalic and De Roon are the latest to get booked. Atalanta players need to be careful now. Three players have been booked in the space of two minutes.

58′ Mctominay hits the post

Greenwood fires a ball from the right side. McTominay didn’t know much about it, off his knee onto the post.

60′ Good clearance by Fred

Zapata takes on Lindelof and delivers in a great ball. Pasalic was waiting just behind Fred. Had he missed it would have been another tap-in for Pasalic.

63′ Koopmeiners shot on target

Zapata picks him outside the box in space and his shot takes a deflection off Maguire which takes the sting out of it.

64′ Juan Musso gets down well

Bruno Fernandes plays another intricate pass round the corner to Ronaldo whose shot is well saved by the keeper.

64′ Yellow card for Luke Shaw

66′ United make double change

68′ Atalanta make two changes

70′ Another huge chance goes begging

Fred wins the ball in the middle of the park. Greenwood plays a slightly heavy pass to Ronaldo who is unable to get onto it. Bruno Fernandes was in ample of space unmarked to Greenwood’s right and was screaming for the ball to be played to him.

71′ Outstanding double save from De Gea

Shades of prime David De Gea. He certainly looks like he is getting there again with the kind of performances he has put in this season. Lindelof is turned way too easily by Zapata whose shot is saved by De Gea and the ball falls to Malinovskyi whose shot he saves again. He was unsighted by the players but does well to keep it out.

72′ Vital block from Wan Bissaka

The ball breaks kindly for Palomino from a corner but Bissaka does extremely well to stick out a foot that lifts the ball over the ball.

73′ United substitution

75′ Maguire with a striker’s finish. Goal!

Bruno takes a quick corner which is cleared but he gets the ball back and puts it in the box. Maguire peels away from the defenders and what a finish by the United skipper. United needed to get the momentum back and they have certainly got that back now.

79′ Koutminers with the shot

From outside the box drags his shot wide

80′ Massive save by Juan Mosso

Bruno Fernandes turns onto his weaker foot inside the box and the shot is somehow saved by Juan Musso

80′ Yellow card for Jose Palomino

80′ Atalanta substitution

81′ Ronaldo’s Freekick headed away

Palomino heads away the ball and goes down. That was hit with ferocious pace. The ball goes out for a United corner.

81′ WHO ELSE! It’s Cristiano Ronaldo! It’s 3-2 United

What a header from Ronaldo, puts it in the corner no chance for the keeper. Fred finds Shaw after the corner was initially cleared and Shaw does ever so well to put in an outstanding delivery in the box. Ronaldo times his jump exceptionally well and what placement.

85′ United corner

United look in no hurry to take this corner. United have gone from wanting the clock to go down slowly to wanting it to go down quickly.

88′ United substitution

Matic comes and straight away clears the ball from Atalanta corner and sends it away for another one.

90+1′ Cristiano uses his experience to win united a freekick

90+3′ Matic receives yellow card for time wasting

90+4′ Cavani is booked

Cavani accidentally heads Palomino instead of the ball.

FT: Manchester United 3-2 Atalanta

What a night under the floodlights at Old Trafford. What a turnaround from being bottom of their group at half time to go top at full time. United players came out fighting for their manager in the second half. What a response after being booed off at half-time But you have got to praise Atalanta’s desire and resolve. But the big question is can United afford to do this against the likes of Liverpool, City and Bayern? Leaving you with tonight’s Player of the Match.

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