Atalanta BC were twice pegged back by Cristiano Ronaldo as Manchester United drew 2-2 at Gewiss Stadium to remain top of UEFA Champions League Group F on Tuesday.
The Italian hosts took the lead through Josip Ilicic after he was teed up by Duvan Zapata on 12 minutes only for Ronaldo to level on the stroke of half-time when he combined wonderfully with fellow Portuguese Bruno Fernandes.
Into the second half and Atalanta went in front again on 56 minutes with Zapata on target after lengthy VAR deliberation, but Ronaldo once again stepped up to save his team and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a superb late strike.
The Norwegian could have been under serious pressure if United had lost in Bergamo, but once again was bailed out by one of his star men.
It might have worked for Solskjaer and United this time, but their reliance on Ronaldo has not always paid off and will not get them out of jail forever. Although both goals were wonderful, there has not been enough of the sort of combination play we saw with Fernandes on the first and the second was purely instinct.
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Once again, the Italians led United only to be pegged back and ultimately held. Although it was not quite on the same scale as at Old Trafford where the home side won, it was still bitterly disappointing given that they were largely good value for twice leading. La Dea must improve this if they are to advance at Villarreal CF or Young Boys' expense.
Yet again, the United boss was spared having to undergo the closer scrutiny that a worse result would have landed him under. That's despite the fact that this result was thanks to two goals which were not really born out of any game plan put into place by the Norwegian. Ronaldo and Fernandes' brilliance did it once while the main man was at it twice to once again paper over Solskjaer's shortcomings until the next time it falls flat.
Another impressive performance from the Colombia international as he scored one and laid on another. There are not too many attackers of the same profile as the 30-year-old in Europe at present and it cannot be too long before a suitor comes in to try to persuade La Dea to sell one of their prized assets as he continues to impress despite results not always going for Atalanta.