Manchester United’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League’s final 16 ruined themselves after playing a 2-2 draw with Atalanta. Two extra time goals from Cristiano Ronaldo in either half were all that helped United even tie on Tuesday night. So, in last night’s Champions League football results, Ronaldo saved Manchester United by scoring to equalize from one down, twice.
After thumping Spurs 3-0 at the weekend, we thought Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side would have turned a corner (football prediction).
But the Red Devils fell crashing back to Earth by Gian Piero Gasperini’s well-organized side. In fact, United were fortunate to escape even with just one point from a 2-2 draw.
But all is not lost – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team still leads the group, Group F, with seven points. In fact, they are level with Villarreal, whom they face next, while Atalanta is just two points behind.
Champions League Football Results – Ronaldo Saved Manchester United
Early on, Scott McTominay’s shot suffered a deflecting onto the post.
And though United appeared to be the better side in the opening exchanges, Atalanta took the lead after 11 minutes. They secured the first lead thanks to Josip Ilicic’s goal.
Duvan Zapata broke into the channel and picked out the Slovenian with a cut-back, and Ilicic shot a sluggish strike. But even this was too hot for David de Gea to handle, as the ball trickled into the bottom corner.
Zapata caught United asleep at the back and was able to run onto a long ball over the top. Here, he had a fantastic chance to double Atalanta’s lead, but he failed to keep his shot down.
Meanwhile, Atalanta kept putting pressure on Paul Pogba, forcing him to give the ball away in a dangerous situation.
But Eric Bailly produced a fantastic recovery challenge to prevent Zapata from scoring a certain goal.
As Solskjaer’s woes worsened, Raphael Varane had to quit playing due to an injury.
But thankfully for United, soon after they drew level with a wonderful sweeping move on the stroke of half-time. Following a lovely pass from Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo tapped the ball home.
Just after the break, the two Portuguese stars combined again, with Ronaldo winning the ball high up the pitch. he then teed up Fernandes, but Jose Palomino blocked his shot.
After another untracked run in behind, Zapata finally had the ball in the net, but the offside flag came up. This is how United’s blushes appeared to have been spared. However, a lengthy VAR check then deemed Harry Maguire to have been playing the striker onside. And because of the unfortunate captain, the goal stood.
As the clock ticked down, Atalanta dug in a little deeper to defend their lead. And Mason Greenwood, of all people, had to block a blistering strike from Aaron Wan-Bissaka to save the day.
United then brought on Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho in an attempt to salvage a point. And it may have worked because Ronaldo volleyed in an equalizer just in time, in stoppage time.
Atalanta 2 – 2 Manchester United
Goals: 1 – 0 Ilicic 12, 1 – 1 Ronaldo 45+1, 2 – 1 Zapata 56, 2 – 2 Ronaldo 90+1
Atalanta: Musso, Palomino, Demiral, de Roon, Maehle, Koopmeiners, Freuler, Zappacosta, Pasalic, Ilicic, Zapata
Substitutions: Muriel Djimsiti
Manchester United: de Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Varane, Maguire, Shaw, Fernandes, McTominay, Pogba, Rashford, Ronaldo
Substitutions: van de Beek, Sancho, Matic, Cavani, Greenwood