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20th Oct 2021

Man Utd secure vital Champions League comeback victory against Atalanta

Daniel Brown

Another famous Champions League night at Old Trafford

Manchester United came from two goals down to secure a vital comeback win against Atalanta in the Champions League, thanks to three second-half goals.

Atalanta were leading by two goals at half-time after strikes from Mario Pasalic and Merih Demiral, but United responded quickly in the second period and pulled a goal back through Marcus Rashford.

The Red Devils levelled with 15 minutes to go as Harry Maguire smashed his effort past Juan Musso from Fernandes’ neat cross.

United completed their comeback with less than 10 minutes to go as Cristiano Ronaldo – the all-time Champions League top scorer – placed a powerful header into the bottom corner of the Atalanta goal, causing Old Trafford to erupt.

The Red Devils came into the game on the back of a disappointing 4-2 loss against Leicester, having won just two of their last seven fixtures.

In contrast, the Serie A outfit – who were without five first-team players for the clash – had lost just twice all season

Gian Piero Gasperini’s men took the lead in the 15th minute when Pasalic slotted home after a clever pass found Davide Zappacosta down the right, with the Italian delivering an inviting cross that simply needed tapping home. There was a quick VAR check for offside, but the goal was soon confirmed.

The away side doubled their lead in the 29th minute when Demiral powerfully headed Teun Koopmeiners’ corner past David de Gea in the United goal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men started the second-half on top and got their reward in the 53rd minute when Bruno Fernandes stole the ball in the centre of the pitch before delivering a perfectly weighted through ball with the outside of his boot into the path of Rashford, who made no mistake with a low shot across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.

The Red Devils levelled the encounter in the 75th minute when Maguire, who had stayed up following a corner, found himself on the end of another delightful Fernandes cross – the captain finished like a striker as he calmly struck the ball on the half-volley into the back of the net.

With momentum on their side, Solskjær’s side completed an important comeback in the 81st minute when Ronaldo scored a trademark header from a delightful Luke Shaw cross.

Following their victory, United moved to top of Group F on six points, with Atalanta and Villarreal both on four and Young Boys on three.

The three-time European Cup winners face Premier League ties against Liverpool and Spurs before travelling to the Gewiss Stadium to face Atalanta once again.

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