Manchester United remain top of Champions League Group F after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side secured a dramatic 2-2 draw against Atalanta in Bergamo.
Serie A outfit Atalanta started brightly and they would find themselves ahead after just 12 minutes via midfielder Josip Ilicic. The Slovenia international stroking home a Duvan Zapata cut back from the edge of the area, although United keeper David de Gea really should have done better.
It then took a superb last ditch block from Eric Bailly to stop the home side extending their lead, the centre-back denying Zapata from close range after some sloppy play in midfield by Paul Pogba.
United would equalize just before the break and the goal would come from the most predictable of sources, Cristiano Ronaldo clinically finishing off a slick team move involving Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes.
Atalanta would regain the lead 10 minutes into the second period, when the impressive Zapata took advantage of some poor defending by Harry Maguire to beat de Gea from inside the six yard box.
Solskjaer emptied his bench in search of a crucial equalizer, but the Red Devils struggled to create any clear cut chances and it looked as if they would drop three massive points. However, in injury time Ronaldo popped up to fire an inch perfect volley into the bottom corner from the edge of the area and secure a hugely important point for his side.
Speaking afterwards under pressure United boss Solskjaer waxed lyrical about the man who has now scored crucial last minute goals in his sides last three Champions League games.
“It is a tight game, flowed both ways, their two goals were very tight and we thought the first was offside, I thought he interfered with David de Gea’s view but Cristiano (Ronaldo) is just incredible if there is anyone you want a chance to fall to and a difficult chance, it is just incredible,” Solskjaer told BT Sport.
Cristiano Ronaldo for club (United) and country this season:
👥 14 appearances
👤 12 starts
⚽ 15 goals
🎯 1 assist
🥅 70 minutes per goal involvement/1.29 per 90
He has 10 goal involvements (9+1) in just 10 starts for United this season. pic.twitter.com/TFyuvl5C6x
— UtdArena (@utdarena) November 2, 2021
“That is football, no one can question the character of these players, because they don’t ever give up and give in, they just keep going. We had to make changes and they worked.
“The goal was a proper team goal, great quality on the passing, four or five or six passes before that little exchange as well.
“You don’t plan to concede a goal, I thought it was offside, usually he would save that one. The atmosphere was electric, very physical and hard to play against.”
Next up for United is a Manchester Derby encounter against Pep Guardiola’s reigning Premier League champions at Old Trafford on Saturday.