Cristiano Ronaldo gave coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a lifeline at Man United

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Cristiano Ronaldo gave Manchester United a much desired 3-2 win over Atalanta On Wednesday, October 20, 2021. The win is seen as a lifeline for embattled coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Since the 2021-2022 UEFA Champions League campaign started, Atalanta have proven to be the most consistent team in Group F. Before they visited Old Trafford on Wednesday, the Spanish side was topping the group with 4 points in two games.

They were expected to beat Manchester United to cement their place at the top of the group. If that had happened, Manchester United would have ended up occupying the last spot in the group.

However, the Premier League side were able to turn the game around from two goals down. Marcus Rashford started United’s comeback fight with his 53rd-minute strike.

The club’s captain, Harry Maguire scored the much-needed equalizer in the 75th minute. With just 9 minutes to the end of the game, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a header in the 81st minute to give United a 3-2 win.

The win lifted Manchester United from the bottom of the table to the first spot with 6 points in three games, two points above second-placed Atalanta.

Cristiano Ronaldo did what he knows how to do best against Atalanta

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the winner against Atalanta on Wednesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the winner against Atalanta on Wednesday.

With his 81st-minute header against Atalanta on Wednesday, Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 140 goals using his head. So far in his football career, the Portuguese football icon has scored a total number of 137 goals in the Champions League.

The fact that the 36-year-old Portuguese forward scored against Atalanta on Wednesday means that he has scored in three consecutive Champions League games for Manchester United.

After the 3-2 win over Atalanta, coach Solskjaer admitted that he was pleased how Cristiano Ronaldo led the club’s attack especially in the second half of the game.

“I was really, really pleased with how he led the line,” Solskjaer said.

“As a center-forward, we asked him to run the channels, drop-in, press more because we’re at home, of course. We want to get the crowd behind us.

“Even he was down inside his own six-yard box towards the end defending, you could see him sprinting. He did everything a center-forward should be doing, leading the line and defending.

“If anyone wants to work rate him for work-rate or attitude, just watch this game. Watch how he runs around.

“And of course the goal is just what he does better than most. The header is not on a par with his Roma one but he’s still got a leap oncoming like no one else.”

On the general assessment of his team, Solskjaer added: “First half I thought we played some good stuff. Our finishing wasn’t good enough. They had two chances and in those two moments, yes, we switched off and we conceded two easy goals. Then in the second half David (De Gea) makes two fantastic saves.

“The difference in performances is not that great and that’s what decides the outcome – it’s the quality and the quality of the finishes we had.

“The second half was much better than the first because we created many chances in the first half as well. But I can understand why people who don’t really watch every game see the inconsistency and within that game of course going 2-0 down it looks really bad. But the performance wasn’t 2-0 down worthy and that was the message at half-time.

“Keep going like this, just add more quality in your finishing, get, an extra pass off and of course make sure we don’t concede a goal.”

#Oleoutnow is still trending despite the comeback win

Most Manchester United supporters were not pleased that the club had to wait until the second half to play the kind of football they expected from the team.

They believe that coach Solskjaer has enough players and resources to win games with less struggle both home and away.

Recall that Manchester United had to wait until injury time to steal a win over Villarreal at Old Trafford on September 29. The team also struggled to get a win over Atalanta on Wednesday.

Such wins are not enough to encourage the supporters of Manchester United to stop demanding for the sack of Solskjaer. Hence, #Oleoutnow has been trending since the first half of the Champions League game against Atalanta on Wednesday.