Old Trafford witnessed one of the most prolific games of the UEFA Champions League between Manchester United and Atalanta. Being a home game was the icing on the cake for United. However, the win didn’t come easy at all for them.
Atalanta started off the proceedings scoring a fantastic goal in the 15th minute of the game courtesy of Mario Pašalić. Atalanta later doubled the lead with a convincing header by Merih Demiral off a corner delivery. As Atalanta walked into their dugouts by halftime at 2-0, the entire stadium prayed for a comeback.
Well, their prayers were certainly answered. After a minor mistake by the Atalanta players, Bruno received a ball which he magnificently played it onto Marcus Rashford who makes no mistake and finds the net to pull one back in for the Reds. Later, a beautiful assist by Cavani lands straight to Maguire who locks the target and puts one in the back of the net to equalise for Manchester United.
Then came the moment of the match. A beautiful incoming cross from the left by Luke Shaw was dealt with perfection as Cristiano makes way into the middle, gets ahead and flicks a clean header in to make it 3-2. That turned out to be the winning goal for Manchester United.
What was becoming a loss at home turned out to be a magnificent turnaround win for the Reds. They move to the top of their Group with 6 points. Let’s have a look at how the players performed :
David de Gea (GK) (6.7/10) : Despite conceding two goals in the match, de Gea was the backbone of the Manchester United side. He ensured that the ball stayed steer away from the goal when it was needed the most. However, he needed more support from defence in order to get a clean sheet or a win with a huge margin.
Aaron Wan-bissaka (6.8/10) : Wan-bissaka was all over the place and running around in hunt for getting some one on one action with the Atalanta players. He did a fine job overall but he lacked the impactful presence in the defence today.
Victor Lindelöf (6.4/10) : A below average performance by Lindelöf. He’s capable of more but it wasn’t showing today. Right after conceding two goals, his confidence went shattering down the drain. He wasn’t too involved and seemed to be less active after the first half.
Harry Maguire (7.5/10) : A poor first corner turns to have worked wonders for Maguire. Sancho saves it and sends it to Cavani who passes it to Maguire. Maguire sees the area, locks the target and fires it into the near bottom to get the equaliser for Manchester United.
Luke Shaw (7.1/10) : The best moment of the game was when Luke Shaw gave a swinging cross from the left to Ronaldo who thumped his header past the keeper to make it 3-2 for the Reds. Shaw was fantastic out on the field and his assist was an evidence to it.
Scott McTominay (6.9/10) : McTominay missed one of the biggest chances of the match that could’ve turned the game around for Manchester United. He was off target on that occasion and apart from that, he had a decent game overall.
Fred (7/10) : Fred’s contribution to his side have always been vital. He can never be kept out of the game. He defended really well while also making goal scoring opportunities ahead. He himself had two attempts at goal but couldn’t convert.
Mason Greenwood (6.3/10) : Greenwood had a very decent game, rather a below average performance by the talented young forward. He barely got touches to the ball and wasn’t involved in any goal scoring opportunities. Hence, his lack of impact on the game forced the manager to substitute him in the 73rd minute.
Bruno Fernandes (9.3/10) : Bruno’s sneaky pass to Rashford was done with sheer perfection. His smart play allotted Manchester United with their first goal of the game. A brilliant assist. He created as many as three big chances for the Reds while also created several chances for himself. He did a phenomenal job with ground duels, tackles and making the neat crosses and long balls. Undoubtedly the best player of tonight’s game.
Marcus Rashford (6.8/10) : Rashford had a tough luck since the commencement of the game. He made several attempts at goal but he wasn’t able to find the right finish. He kept on going off target or missing a golden opportunity. Later came in a magnificently guided pass by Bruno which the forward curled his shot around the keeper in the far post to pull one back for Manchester United.
Cristiano Ronaldo (7.7/10) : Ronaldo receives a brilliant swinging cross from left by Luke Shaw and the Portuguese striker gets in front of the defence to thump his header past the keeper and put Manchester United in front by making it 3-2. What a brilliant header by the legendary striker. However, in the beginning he had missed a really big opportunity with a one on one against the keeper.
Edinson Cavani (7/10) : Cavani makes a brilliant effort by assisting Maguire to get the equaliser for the home team at Old Trafford.
Jadon Sancho (6.7/10) : Sancho did a good job in his short stint on the field. He even saved a vital ball that turned out to Cavani assisting Maguire to get the equaliser.
Paul Pogba (6.7/10) : Pogba did a commendable job since the time he came on the field. He was quick, active and kept the ball moving.
Nemanja Matic (N/A)
Juan Musso (GK) (6.8/10) : Musso had a brilliant game for his side apart from ending up on the losing team. He made some brilliant saves from inside the box, especially the one on one challenge against Cristiano Ronaldo.
Marten de Roon (6.2/10) : A vulnerable Atalanta side needed everything from their defence but couldn’t get anything as their coordination wasn’t the best. Marten de Roon didn’t impact the defence in anyway and seemed to be too away from the game as he was barely involved.
Merih Demiral (7.7/10) : The defender was definitely in the right place at the right time for Atalanta. Koopmeiners puts in a curling delivery from the corner and Demirah finds a way to be in the middle of the box and he flicks a clean header in to the left hand corner to double Atalanta’ s lead. He faced an unlucky injury and had to walk out after the first half.
José Luis Palomino (6.8/10) : One of the best defenders and the player for Atalanta on the field. He really did a commendable job when it came to make valuable interceptions and clearences. He was really quick with his feet and one of his attempts to create a big chance was blocked by the United defence.
Davide Zappacosta (7.1/10) : Zappacosta assisted the opening goal of the match for Atalanta. He gave in a low cross to Pašalić who made it 1-0 for the away team. Apart from that he had a decent game with trying to redo his heroics and create more goal scoring chances.
Teun Koopmeiners (7.2/10) : Koopmeiners gave in a wonderful corner which was dealt with beautifully by the defender, Merih Demiral. He scored a brilliant header to double Atalanta’s lead. Koopmeiners also had several attempts at goal himself but never converted.
Remo Freuler (6.6/10) : Freuler made some valuable clearences but couldn’t be more accurate with his long balls. He also lost posession way too many times and was too inaccurate with his passing.
Joakim Mæhle (6.6/10) : Joakim was excellent with his aerial duels but he certainly lacked the confidence with ground duels. However, he found himself with a shy at goal but went off target.
Mario Pašalić (7/10) : Pašalić scores the opening goal of the match and gets Atlanta the lead at United’s home turf. He received a low cross from Zappacosta and tapped it past De Gea to make it 1-0.
Josip Iličić (6.5/10) : Iličić was barely impacting the game for Atalanta in a positive way and he ruined it with an error that led to a goal for the home side.
Luis Fernando Muriel Fruto (6.7/10) : Just the 56 minutes for the striker. He barely made any touches to the ball. He did have an attempt at goal which was on target but denied by De Gea.
Matteo Lovato (5.9/10) : Lovato replaced the injured Demiral and didn’t live up to his expectations as he didn’t do a decent job in the entire second half he was allotted to play in.
Giuseppe Pezzella (N/A)
Aleksei Miranchuk (N/A)
Ruslan Malinovskyi (N/A)
Duvan Zapata (6.7/10) : Zapata was good with his accuracy at passing, it came really handy when the goal scoring opportunities were being worked on.