Atalanta 2-2 Man United: Cristiano Ronaldo strikes late to get Ole Gunnar Solskjaer out of jail again

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo was Manchester United’s late hero in Europe again as his stoppage time equaliser salvaged a 2-2 draw away to Atalanta.

Having earned brief respite with the 3-0 win over Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was staring down the barrel of another disastrous result, with Duvan Zapata’s strike set to condemn United to defeat in Bergamo.

However, Ronaldo, who had already cancelled out Josep Ilicic’s opener, added a dramatic leveller to the late winners he has scored against Atalanta and Villarreal in this Champions League group stage already.

Solskjaer stuck with the back-three that had worked so well against Tottenham but made three changes to his starting lineup, Paul Pogba returning from suspension in midfield and Marcus Rashford replacing Edinson Cavani up-front, while Eric Bailly came in for the injured Victor Lindelof.

They almost took the lead inside five minutes when Scott McTominay’s shot deflected onto the upright, but soon found themselves behind as David de Gea’s error allowed Ilicic’s shot to find the back of the net.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

But for a superb block from Bailly it might have been two as Pogba’s dallying in possession almost allowed Zapata in, but Ronaldo ensured Solskjaer’s side went into the break on level terms as he converted from Bruno Fernandes’ backheel at the end of a superb move.

The Italians had been much the better side, however, and shortly before the hour-mark saw their lead restored with a helping hand from VAR, which overruled the linesman’s flag against Zapata as he beat the lunge of Harry Maguire to lift past De Gea.

At that point, United were set to slip out of the qualifying places, but Ronaldo’s late show earned the point that sends them back to the top of Group F.

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