The Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed his love affair with the Champions League and returned to rescue with a double culminated in added time at Manchester United, which drew 2-2 in the Atalanta field and remained the leader, tied with Villarreal, in the group F.
Cristiano continues to be the light of United, and more so in the Champions League, his favorite competition, which he won five times, once with the English team and four with Real Madrid. He is the all-time top scorer in the European Cup with 139 goals in 180 games and has scored nine goals in eleven games since his return to the Old Trafford club.
A goal from Slovenian Josip Ilicic and another from Colombian Duván Zapata gave Atalanta an advantage twice, but in the last minute of the first half, and in added time of the second, Cristiano appeared and rescued a key point for United, when There are two days left until the group stage is over.
As it happened at Old Trafford, it was Atalanta who were more comfortable at the beginning of the duel, despite an initial scare, with a shot from Scotsman Scott McTominay who, deflected, hit a post. But Atalanta lit up with good combinations, rhythm, speed, and won the prize at 12 minutes, when Josip Ilicic, a midfielder who two seasons ago endorsed a European poker at Valencia at the Mestalla, overtook Atalanta with a shot that ended at the bottom from the meshes after an error by Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea.
For United, who had saved Solskjaer’s head last Saturday by beating Tottenham 3-0, causing the dismissal of Spurs coach Nuno Espirito Santo, replaced by Antonio Conte, the problems grew, as the French Raphael Varane He was forced to request the change due to a new physical problem.
The ex-Madrid defender had returned against Tottenham after a three-week absence and was replaced by Mason Greenwood. A striker entered for a defender, a clear message from Solskjaer to his team, whose reaction was specified with a spectacular play between Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano. The midfielder left him with an elegant touch with the outside of his right foot a comfortable ball that CR7 took advantage of to overcome Juan Musso and restore equality a few seconds before the break.
Atalanta remained faithful to their idea of football and, despite suffering at the beginning of the restart, regained the advantage thanks to Duván’s goal number 73 in the Bergamo team shirt. The number 91 received a vertical pass from Argentine José Luis Palomino and surpassed De Gea with an accurate shot with his left foot. He had to wait several minutes for the VAR to control his position for a possible offside, before he could release all his joy.
The Bergamo squad was defended with commitment and endured United’s push until added time, when Cristiano invented, with a wonderful crossed right hand, the final 2-2 goal that prevented his team from significantly complicating their way to the second round.
Everything is still open in group F, with United and Villarreal tied with seven points, two more than Atalanta, in a table closed by Young Boys, with three.
– Data sheet:
2 – Atalanta: Musso; De Roon, Demiral, Palomino; Zappacosta, Freuler, Koopmeiners, Maehle; Pasalic (Djimsiti, m.46); Ilicic (Muriel, m.71), Zapata.
2 – Manchester United: De Gea; Bailly, Varane (Greenwood, m.38), Maguire; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay (Sancho, m.87), Pogba (Matic, m.69), Shaw; Bruno Fernandes (Van de Beek, m.87); Rashford (Cavani, m.69), Ronaldo.
Goals: 1-0, m.12: Ilicic; 1-1, m.45: Cristiano; 2-1, m.56: Duván; 2-2, m.92: Cristiano.
Referee: Slavko Vincic (ESL). He showed yellow cardboard to McTominay (m.51), from Manchester United.
Incidents: Match corresponding to the fourth day of group F of the Champions League played at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo before about 25,000 spectators. EFE (HN)