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Match Report: Manchester United 3 -2 Atalanta

A Cristiano Ronaldo header saw Manchester United come from two goals down to secure victory against Atalanta at Old Trafford.

Both sides started brightly, but it was the Italian side that took the lead through Mario Pašalić inside 15 minuites, mounting the pressure on United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

United looked to get back into the game and were pushing for an equaliser, but they were caught out from a set piece with Merih Demiral heading home to double La Dea’s lead before half time.

A second half strike from Marcus Rashford found the back of the net to give the hosts hope of getting something from the game. United kept pushing and found the equaliser through captain Harry Maguire with 15 minuites to spare.

It didn’t stop there, as Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to head home the winner and complete an impressive comeback.

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Story of the game

With a disappointing defeat at the weekend, and a tough run of games to come it was vital Solskjær’s side didn’t slip up. The game was end to end from the start with both sides committed to going forward in search of the first goal.

It came just after 15 minuites, a free kick from Atalanta was taken quickly with Davide Zappacosta running down the channel before crossing to find Pašalić for a tap in.

Despite conceding early United’s spirits didn’t drop and they went searching for an equaliser. A opportunity from Fred went amiss, with Ronaldo hitting the target but a goal was still missing. It was the away side who took their chance, with a Demiral header from a corner doubling Atalanta’s lead.

The lack of a focal point in the first half left United frustrated and it was the first time ever in the Champions League at Old Trafford that United went in at half time 2-0 down. A huge team talk from the Red Devils seemed to do the trick, as the home side piled on the pressure looking for a goal to get them back in the game.

It was eventually found after a expertly placed outside of the foot pass from Bruno Fernandes found Rashford down the left who opened his body up to slot past Juan Musso. United continued to push forward searching for the equaliser and were inches away from being level as Scott McTominay hit the near post from a cross.

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The Old Trafford faithful were spurring their side on, but whilst searching for an equaliser was paramount, so was making sure Atalanta didn’t score again. A clear chance inside the 18 yard box almost gave them that only for it to be blocked by Victor Lindelof and the follow up expertly saved by David De Gea.

Time was running out for United, but a cleared corner found it’s way back into the Atalanta box and fell to Maguire, who cleanly scored to draw level. The Red Devils continued to push, you could sense that despite being two goals down at half time they weren’t going to settle for a draw.

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Who else but Ronaldo, who rose high to head home the winner in his 300th game for Manchester United.

Many questions have been asked of Ole Gunnar Solskjær over the past few days. And given recent form it was justified, an improvement in league form is still needed in order to satisfy most, but tonight it was a spirited comeback and a deserved victory.

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