Man Utd vs Atalanta, player ratings: Cristiano Ronaldo rises to the occasion – but familiar failings remain

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Cristiano Ronaldo - Man Utd vs Atalanta, player ratings: Cristiano Ronaldo rises to the occasion – but familiar failings remain - AP
Cristiano Ronaldo - Man Utd vs Atalanta, player ratings: Cristiano Ronaldo rises to the occasion – but familiar failings remain - AP

If the essence of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's management of Manchester United is to pull out a result when all seems lost, when backs are against the wall, then here you had it. He somehow found another lifeline. But it was harum-scarum stuff.

After an utterly abject first half, United rallied thrillingly to overturn a 2-0 deficit. It was capped by Cristiano Ronaldo with a trademark, iconic header to put United in front as Atalanta were overwhelmed by wave after wave of attack.

Ian Whittell was at Old Trafford to watch United's come-from-behind victory, and here he rates the players' performances...

Manchester United

David de Gea 7

Badly exposed by his defence for the two goals but his double save in the second half was stunning. Dealt comfortably enough with other moments of danger that the Italians carved out.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka 5

Caught out of position often and added little to United’s attacking game. Struggled to cope with the lively Muriel on his side of the field.

Victor Lindelof 5

Isolated and caught out, along with the rest of his defence, for the opening goal. Looked devoid of confidence after that.

Harry Maguire 5

Badly positioned for the shock opener and even worse for the second. The world’s most expensive defender is scarcely living up to that billing although he managed to save face with the equaliser.

Luke Shaw 6

The opening goal came down his left flank as United responded slowly to a quickly-taken free-kick, but his delivery for the winner was first class.

Scott McTominay 6

Found his range early with some good long balls but caught out badly when he failed to pick up Zappacosta for the opening goal. Nearly made amends when he struck the post.

Fred 6

Two solid chances came his way in the first half but both ended in disappointing finishes. Grafted hard but did not use the ball particularly well.

Mason Greenwood 7

No faulting his effort and, when United were moving the ball quickly, played some slick passes. His excellent cross almost led to a McTominay equaliser.

Bruno Fernandes 7

There were only occasional glimmers of his previous peerless form in the first half but he responded in the second with a superb pass for Ronaldo and the assists for Rashford and Maguire.

Marcus Rashford 7

Looked to have his old pace back as he started for the first time this season but his timing and match sharpness lagged a little. Still nothing wrong with the way he took his goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo 8

Still threatened, even in a poor performance, and missed a great chance to pull a goal back when clear on the keeper early after the break. Made up for that in style.

Substitutes

  • Paul Pogba for McTominay 66 mins

  • Edinson Cavani for Rashford 66 mins

  • Jadon Sancho for Greenwood 73 mins

  • Nemanja Matic for Fred 88 mins

Rashford had run his race and looked exhausted by the time he made way for Cavani as United went for broke in their quest for an equaliser. Pogba, similarly, was an attacking switch made at the same time. The other two replacements were simply “like for like.”

Substitutes (not used)

Bailly, Mata, Lingard, Dalot, Sancho, Henderson, Telles, Matic, van de Beek, Elanga.

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