Manchester United vs Atalanta LIVE: Champions League result, final score and reaction tonight

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·30-min read
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will doubtless Manchester United’s comeback down to the spirit and soul of the club, and it is true to say that this 3-2 win over Atalanta again showed that this team are at the very least playing for their manager. Cristiano Ronaldo offered yet another late match-winning moment, on another raucous European night.

It was just that this victory was as much down to the willingness of a depleted Atalanta side to persevere with their approach to the point that risk became recklessness. Gian Piero Gasperini’s one-on-one approach gave United countless opportunities, that they were eventually going to take up.

Another truth is that, as bad as this game was at half-time, United probably should have won about 8-2 rather than 3-2 by virtue of the chances created. They missed so many.

Or perhaps that should be 8-3, since David De Gea made yet another crucial and brilliant save from Duvan Zapata with the score at 2-2.

It felt so significant in the very moment of the stop, especially since it had such echoes of what happened against Villarreal - right down to what eventually happened. But that is why, even allowing for the fact United are now top of the group and surely en route for the last 16, it feels wrong to talk about this as any kind of turning point.

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If Manchester United are less than the sum of their parts, Atalanta are much greater than theirs

Manchester United vs Atalanta

  • 8pm kick-off

  • Man Utd XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo

  • Atalanta XI: Musso; Zappacosta, Palomino, Demiral, Maehle; Freuler, De Roon, Pasalic; Ilicic, Koopmeiners; Muriel

  • Pasalic puts Serie A side ahead from close range

  • Demiral heads home second before the half-hour mark

  • Rashford pulls one back for United early in second half

  • Maguire volleys in equaliser with 15’ to play

  • Cristiano Ronaldo thumps in header minutes later

More from Maguire

22:26 , Michael Jones

Harry Maguire broke down where things went wrong for United in the first half and why his teammates still had belief they could win the game despite being two goals down. He said:

The first half we conceded two bad goals. Two big moments in the game. For the first they caught us out and then the second it is a set-play that we shouldn’t be conceding. We created a lot of chances in the first half so we knew at half-time that the next goal would be crucial. We got the goals we needed and deserved and I think we deserved the win in the end. Yes, we made it difficult but it is a tremendous victory in the end.

“We were two goals down and we need to sharpen up with that. But we had plenty of chances. I think Marcus [Rashford] had two one-on-ones in the first-half. We are working hard to be more solid but it is about winning and the last three or four games we have conceded too many set-pieces. It is fine margins but we need to do better. We showed great togetherness. We were clapped off at half-time by some of these fans and they gave us the belief we needed.”

Cristiano Ronaldo completes Manchester United’s comeback win over Atalanta on wild Champions League night

22:24 , Michael Jones

It was the sort of script that is loved at this club, but it’s impossible to escape the feeling this one was used to paper over cracks that are by now huge gaps.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will doubtless put this down to the spirit and soul of the club, and it is true to say that this 3-2 win over Atalanta again showed that this team are at the very least playing for their manager. Cristiano Ronaldo offered yet another late match-winning moment, on another raucous European night.

Ronaldo earns Man United comeback win over Atalanta on wild Champions League night

Manchester United vs Atalanta: Five things we learned as Marcus Rashford stars in thrilling comeback

22:21 , Michael Jones

Manchester United came from two goals down to beat Atalanta 3-2 in the Champions League on Wednesday night. Here are five things we learned from the match at Old Trafford.

Five things we learned as Man United earn thrilling comeback win over Atalanta

Maguire on scoring his first Champions League goal

22:19 , Michael Jones

Harry Maguire netted a first goal in the Champions League for Manchester United to give his team the equaliser and set up a dramatic finish at Old Trafford. Understandably, he was pleased about it saying:

It’s my first goal of the season and my first in the Champions League, so it was a proud moment for me and my family who were up there watching.”

Reaction from Harry Maguire

22:15 , Michael Jones

A delighted Harry Maguire spoke to BT Sport after the match and said:

We actually created a lot of chances in the first half so we knew coming in at half-time that the next goal would be crucial and we got the goal that we needed. I think in the end we deserved the victory.”

Last-gasp Cristiano Ronaldo header completes stunning Manchester United comeback

22:13 , Michael Jones

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s comeback kings did it again as Cristiano Ronaldo secured Manchester United a thrilling 3-2 victory in a breathless Champions League clash with Atalanta

There was intense scrutiny on the 1999 treble hero and his players heading into the Group F encounter after Saturday’s embarrassing loss at Leicester compounded recent poor performances.

United were staring down the barrel of a fifth loss in eight matches and were booed by some fans as they trudged off at half-time trailing by two goals, only for Solskjaer’s side to storm back memorably at Old Trafford.

Last-gasp Cristiano Ronaldo header completes stunning Manchester United comeback

Ronaldo rescues Man Utd again

22:11 , Michael Jones

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in three consecutive Champions League games for Manchester United for the second time, previously doing so in November 2007 en route to winning the trophy with the Red Devils.

A sign of things to come perhaps?

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

Man Utd 3 - 2 Atalanta

22:06 , Michael Jones

Manchester United have won a Champions League game from two or more goals down for the third time. No side has done so more often in the competition with Arsenal also doing so three times.

 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Manchester United complete comeback win over Atalanta

22:02 , Michael Jones

Marcus Rashford got the ball rolling, Harry Maguire equalised and Cristiano Ronaldo headed home the winning goal.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)
 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Man Utd 3 - 2 Atalanta

21:56 , Michael Jones

Two goals down at half-time and bottom of Group F. Manchester United responded beautifully, they took the game to Atalanta in the second half, scored three goals and claimed all three points, ending the night top of the group.

Full-time: Man Utd 3 - 2 Atalanta

21:54 , Michael Jones

90+4 mins: Atalanta get a last chance to equalise. They run a free kick into the box but Ronaldo clears the lines. The ball comes back to Zappacosta who shoots but pulls the shot wide of David De Gea’s goal.

The full time whistle goes and Manchester United have done it!

Paul Pogba punches the air, Cristiano Ronaldo lets out a big roar and sinks to his knees.

A brilliant European night for Manchester United.

Man Utd 3 - 2 Atalanta

21:51 , Michael Jones

90+2 mins: Palomino clatters into Shaw and Man Utd win a free kick just inside Atalanta’s half. Matic is booked for time-wasting and Maguire eventually punts the free kick up to Ronaldo who tries to keep it in the corner.

Man Utd 3 - 2 Atalanta

21:49 , Michael Jones

90 mins: Four minutes of added time to play. The announcement is met by a groan and a chorus of boos from the Man Utd fans. Ronaldo wins a free kick from nothing in his half own.

Man Utd 3 - 2 Atalanta

21:46 , Michael Jones

88 mins: Cavani is back to do his defensive duties against Maehle who manages to win a corner for the visitors. Fred goes down with a pulled hamstring.

He’s replaced with Matic before the corner is taken and the substitute gets to the set piece to head it behind.

Man Utd 3 - 2 Atalanta

21:44 , Michael Jones

86 mins: United knock the corner ball short to Fernandes who attempts to cross the ball with the outside of his right foot but Atalanta clear their lines.

Game management is crucial now, can United hold on to this lead?

Man Utd 3 - 2 Atalanta

21:43 , Michael Jones

84 mins: Nemanja Matic is getting ready to come on. Manchester United have made an incredible comeback in this half. Sancho plays Wan-Bissaka into the right side of the box and the right-back wins another corner.

GOAL! Man Utd 3 - 2 Atalanta (Ronaldo, 81’)⚽️

21:39 , Michael Jones

81 mins: RONALDO! Manchester United maintain the pressure after they have a corner cleared. The ball comes out to Shaw who curls it back into the middle of the box. Ronaldo runs at the ball, jumps in front of Palomino and heads the ball into the bottom corner. United are in front! What a game!

Man Utd 2 - 2 Atalanta

21:38 , Michael Jones

80 mins: Save! United are in again! Shaw finds Ronaldo who slots it into the box for Fernandes. He cuts onto his left foot and hits it at goal but Musso comes out and palms it away with his right hand!

Man Utd 2 - 2 Atalanta

21:37 , Michael Jones

78 mins: The game is very much on now. There’s less than 15 minutes to play, can one of these teams go on to find a winner? Atalanta aren’t sitting back, they’re flying forward when they can and whipping crosses into the box. It doesn’t feel like this game is done yet.

Koopmeiners hits one from range and pulls it wide of the far post for Atalanta.

GOAL! Man Utd 2 - 2 Atalanta (Maguire, 75’)⚽️

21:33 , Michael Jones

75 mins: United are level! Harry Maguire stays up the pitch after the corner as the ball comes out ot Sancho on the right wing. He takes it up to the right side of the box and swings in a cross. Cavani must have heard a call as he ducks under the pass allowing it to drop to Maguire at the back post. He brings it under control and pokes it into the back of the net with his right foot!

Man Utd 1 - 2 Atalanta

21:32 , Michael Jones

73 mins: Jadon Sancho replaces Mason Greenwood. If ever there was a time for him to score his first goal for United it’s now.

Manchester United win a corner that Bruno Fernandes swings into the box. Harry Maguire jumps high and wins the header but his effort is too close to Juan Musso who smothers it down to his left.

Man Utd 1 - 2 Atalanta

21:30 , Michael Jones

71 mins: Outstanding from David De Gea! Lindelof is shoved off the ball as it comes up to Duvan Zapata. He takes it into the box and blasts one with his left foot drawing a sharp save out of De Gea. The rebound comes out to Malinovskyi who sends it back towards goal but De Gea is up quickly and pushes the second attempt over the bar!

Man Utd 1 - 2 Atalanta

21:27 , Michael Jones

69 mins: Cavani has taken Rashford’s position on the left wing with Pogba slotting in alongside Fred. Fred wins the ball in the middle of the pitch and gives it to Greenwood he immediately knocks it into the box for Ronaldo but the striker can’t beat Musso to the loose ball.

Man Utd 1 - 2 Atalanta

21:25 , Michael Jones

66 mins: Changes from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay are off with Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba brought on.

Pogba gets stuck in straight away driving the ball up the midfield before slotting it to Cavani. He’s forced wide and Manchester United have to retreat.

Man Utd 1 - 2 Atalanta

21:23 , Michael Jones

64 mins: Save! Fernandes slips a short pass into the left side of the box where Ronaldo sprints away from Lovato and gets to the ball. He hits a low shot back across the box only for Musso to dive across and palm it away with his left hand! What a huge save that could turn out to be.

Man Utd 1 - 2 Atalanta

21:20 , Michael Jones

61 mins: Luis Muriel has been taken off and replaced with Duvan Zapata for Atalanta. No sign of any changes yet from Ole Gunner Solskjaer although Edinson Cavani has been warming up on the sidelines.

The visitors get a period on the ball and try to keep possession. They’re under the pump a bit and just need to temper United’s momentum.

Man Utd 1 - 2 Atalanta

21:17 , Michael Jones

58 mins: Pasalic and De Roon both give away fouls as Man Utd surge forward and both join Lovato in the book. Shaw swings a free kick into the box and Maguire attacks it. He doesn’t get the best connection on the header though and Atalanta clear their lines.

They keep the pressure up though as Greenwood weaves his way into the right side of the box. His cross comes into the six-yard area where McTominay arrives and his volleyed effort hits the post!

Manchester United were inches away from an equaliser!

Man Utd 1 - 2 Atalanta

21:14 , Michael Jones

55 mins: Atalanta are scrambling now. A ball over the top sees Ronaldo and Lovato going for the same aerial ball. The Atalantan defender bundles straight into the United striker and gives away a free kick over to the right side of the box.

Lovato is shown a yellow card and Ronaldo’s free kick goes wide of the back post.

GOAL! Man Utd 1 - 2 Atalanta (Rashford, 53’)⚽️

21:10 , Michael Jones

53 mins: United are back in it! This is a fantastic goal from Man Utd. The ball comes to Fernandes who flicks it behind the Atalanta backline with the outside of his right foot. Rashford bursts into action with a run into the box. He rolls the ball onto his right foot and guides it perfectly past Musso to send the ball into the far bottom corner. Lovely finish.

Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

21:09 , Michael Jones

51 mins: Wan-Bissaka tries to get around Maehle and wins a corner for United. The set piece is whipped into the box but gets cleared out to Rashford. He brings it down outside the area and shoots on the half-volley but pulls his effort wide of the near post. You get the sense that if Manchester United can score, they’ll definitely get another one.

Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

21:07 , Michael Jones

48 mins: Save! Musso denies Ronaldo! United win the ball back high up the pitch and Fernandes slots it into the box for Cristiano Ronaldo. One touch puts the ball onto his right foot and the shot is blasted at Musso who blocks it with his chest. The rebound comes out to Rashford who fires a long-ranged effort wide of goal.

Second half: Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

21:04 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Matteo Lovato comes on to replace Merih Demiral for Atalanta. What has Solskjaer said to his team during that break? Can he orchestrate a European comeback?

Atalanta get the second half underway.

Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

20:58 , Michael Jones

Manchester United have failed to keep a clean sheet in 12 consecutive home games in all competitions, their longest such run since February 1964 when they went 13 games.

That’s a terribly worrying stat for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

20:54 , Michael Jones

Can Manchester United find a way back into this game?

Atalanta lead at half-time

20:53 , Michael Jones

Manchester United trail by two goals at Old Trafford in a crucial Champions League game. They’ve been too easy to break down with Mario Pasalic and Merih Demiral getting the goals.

This is a big half-time team talk from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Manchester United need to get back into this game somehow.

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

Half-time: Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

20:49 , Michael Jones

45+1 mins: Chance! It should be 2-2. Fred’s just missed a great chance and now Rashford hits the crossbar! Fernandes knocks the ball over the top and Demiral lets it bounce past away from him. Rashford nips into the box behind the defender, fires the ball over the goalkeeper and rattles the crossbar! He needs to score there. Atalanta lead by two goals at half-time.

Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

20:46 , Michael Jones

45 mins: Chance! Huge chance for Fred as Fernandes plays him into the box. He checks to the right, shuffles away from the centre-back and attempts to curl his shot into the far bottom corner but fires it wide of the post. That was the moment for Man Utd.

One minute of added time to play.

Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

20:44 , Michael Jones

44 mins: Josip Ilicic sends the ball into the middle of the final third where Muriel turns towards goal and hits one straight at David De Gea who makes the save.

Marcus Rashford is then played in behind the lines with a long ball and sprints into the box. He takes too long to get away a shot though and Demiral slides in to win the ball. Great defending, Demiral has been top class so far.

Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

20:42 , Michael Jones

41 mins: Fernandes swings a cross into the box from the right but sends it straight to Musso. Freuler gives the ball away to Wan-Bissaka who slips it into the box for Rashford. He loads up a shot but Demiral tackles him and clears the ball.

Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

20:40 , Michael Jones

38 mins: Jadon Sancho and Paul Pogba have both been sent out to warm up. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won’t make a change before half-time but he needs to do something.

Atalanta look comfortable with United passing the ball around their box. The home side have only drawn Musso into one difficult save so far.

Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

20:37 , Michael Jones

35 mins: A throw in from Ronaldo is given to Rashford who knocks it back to Fernandes. He passes the ball into the left side of the box where Ronaldo picks it up and cuts inside. He carries the ball across the box looking to shoot but gets tackled just as he lets fly and scuffs the shot well wide of the back post.

Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta

20:32 , Michael Jones

32 mins: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might be starting to worry now. The ease at which Atalanta have scored both of those goals is a big problem for United. The visitors haven’t offered much else in front of goal but they’ve been clinical in the box.

The signs are there though that United can get back into this game. If they can find the next goal it’s game on.

GOAL! Man Utd 0 - 2 Atalanta (Demiral, 29’)⚽️

20:30 , Michael Jones

29 mins: Uh oh. A great set piece from Atalanta sees Merih Demiral rise above Maguire and Shaw to win the header and fire home a simple header from inside the six-yard box.

Man Utd 0 - 1 Atalanta

20:27 , Michael Jones

26 mins: Some tricky footwork sees Rashford create a touch of space on the left allowing to whip a cross in to Ronaldo beat Demiral beats him in the air to head the ball clear.

United get the ball back though and McTominay does well to play it into space on the right for Wan-Bissaka to get forward. He passes the ball inside to Ronaldo who turns, dribbles into the box and slots a low shot into the arms of Mussa.

Man Utd 0 - 1 Atalanta

20:24 , Michael Jones

23 mins: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won’t be too worried. His team are playing well, they’re certainly making things happen around the Atalanta penalty area. The ball is comes to Fernandes on the edge of the box and his shot is blocked this time by Palomino.

Wan-Bissaka then whips a cross in from the right but Palomino is there again to stop the pass and knock it out of play.

Man Utd 0 - 1 Atalanta

20:22 , Michael Jones

20 mins: Save! A solid run from Ronaldo into the right side of the box sees him take the ball to the byline and chip it back into the middle of the box. Fernandes is waiting and he flicks it off to Fred who hits a nice shot at goal and draws Juan Musso into a fingertip save that knocks the ball over the crossbar!

Man Utd 0 - 1 Atalanta

20:21 , Michael Jones

18 mins: There was a quick VAR check to see whether Pasalic had strayed offside but he didn’t and the goal stands. The goal came from Atalanta’s first chance and now Manchester United have to come from behind, again.

Villarreal are two goals ahead of Young Boys in the other Group F match meaning United are bottom as it stands.

GOAL! Man Utd 0 - 1 Atalanta (Pasalic, 15’)⚽️

20:16 , Michael Jones

15 mins: Where have this come from? Fred gives away a free kick in the middle of the pitch and Atalanta play it quickly over the top. Luis Muriel runs down the inside right channel and brings down the ball. Davide Zappacosta comes flying forward on the overlap and no defender picks him up. Muriel gives him the ball and he squares it into the six-yard box where Mario Pasalic guides it into the bottom back corner.

Man Utd 0 - 0 Atalanta

20:13 , Michael Jones

12 mins: Atalanta have started by United’s left-hand side but so far they’re not getting a great deal of joy from it with Maguire and Shaw linking up well.

United’s counter-attacking play has been superb. McTominay flicks a long ball over the top sending Ronaldo racing against his old Juventus teammate Demiral. Demrial gets there first and puts the ball behind for a United corner.

Fernandes swings in the set piece but Remo Freuler wins it and heads the ball out of the box.

Man Utd 0 - 0 Atalanta

20:10 , Michael Jones

9 mins: Slick play between Ronaldo, Rashford and Fernandes sees the latter given the ball on the inside left and he threads a pass into the box that Rashford chases down. He’s quick and almost gets to it first but Merih Demiral just manages to beat him and knock the ball clear for Atalanta.

Man Utd 0 - 0 Atalanta

20:08 , Michael Jones

6 mins: Rashford has made a bright start for the home side. He seems determined to drive his team forward. Harry Maguire heads a clearance strongly up the pitch and the bounce takes the ball behind the Atalantan back line. Rashford sweeps in from the left, takes control of the ball and tries to cut into the box but gets tackled by Marten de Roon.

Man Utd 0 - 0 Atalanta

20:05 , Michael Jones

3 mins: Mason Greenwood passes the ball down the right wing and sends Bruno Fernandes chasing after the ball. He comes up against Jose Luis Palomino who shoulders Fernandes off the ball, takes possession and clears his lines.

Scott McTominay receives the ball after Man Utd bring it back under control. He drives through the midfield and slots Rashford in behind the lines. It’s a great run from Rashford who only has the goalkeeper to beat but he sends his effort wide of the left-hand post. The offside goes up against him anyway so it wouldn’t have counted.

Man Utd 0 - 0 Atalanta

20:01 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a smile on his face as his team kick off the match. Victor Lindelof sends a diagonal ball over to Marcus Rashford on the left side and United win a throw in.

Here come the teams

19:56 , Michael Jones

Harry Maguire leads Manchester United out onto the Old Trafford pitch. The captain had a poor return from injury against Leicester at the weekend and will be wanting to impress the home crowd this evening.

Solskjaer’s pre-match thoughts

19:51 , Michael Jones

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke to BT Sport in the build up to kick off and gave his thoughts on why his team have lost four of their last seven games in all competitions saying:

The last few games we’ve looked a little bit open. We’ve been too easy to play through on counter-attacks. Today we’ve picked a team that will give us legs and energy. Our fans will also want to see us on the front foot.

“It’ll be nice for [Marcus Rashford] to play football freely without a niggle on his back or shoulders. The last few months he’s been carrying an injury. You’ll see a smile now, and Marcus enjoying football is a brilliant sight to see.

“The last two or three seasons Atalanta have been scoring close to 100 goals in the Serie A, so we will have to defend really well. Plus we want to to hopefully be on the attack.”

Will Ronaldo score again?

19:48 , Michael Jones

Ronaldo has five goals in seven appearances for United since rejoining the club this summer, including two on his second debut in a 4-1 win at home to Newcastle on 11th September.

They were his first Premier League goals since 10 May 2009; that gap of 12 years 124 days is the second longest in Premier League history, after Matt Jackson (13 years 187 days).

He’s also found the back of the net in each of United’s first two Champions League games this season. Can he continue that run tonight?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

With problems in Manchester United dressing room and on the pitch, can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer save his job?

19:45 , Michael Jones

In the dressing room after Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Everton, one star player was aimlessly raging about “the same mistakes every single game”. In the other dressing room, Rafa Benitez was actually criticising his team over “two points dropped”.

The two scenes point to significant football issues that are only increasing the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The first is that his own squad know something is wrong with the team. It has sapped confidence. The second is that opposition teams realise that. They know United are easy to get at right now, and it’s not hard to figure out where.

Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer save his job at Manchester United?

Ronaldo to the rescue

19:41 , Michael Jones

This is the first meeting between Manchester United and Atalanta.

In their last Champions League fixture Cristiano Ronaldo sent Old Trafford crazy with a 95th minute winning goal that saw United to a 2-1 victory against Villarreal.

It was revenge for the last season’s Europa League final where Villarreal beat the Red Devils on penalties.

For Atalanta they edged out the Young Boys 1-0 in Bergamo in the second round of matches having drawn their first fixture 2-2 at Villarreal.

 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Atalanta’s European dream

19:33 , Michael Jones

Having never featured in the Champions League before 2019/20, Atalanta are making their third successive appearance in the group stage.

They reached the quarter-finalists on their debut two seasons ago, and lost to Real Madrid in the last 16 during the 2020/21 campaign.

The Italian club were second behind Liverpool in Group D last season, sealing progress with a 1-0 win at Ajax on Matchday 6. That gave them 11 points, two behind Liverpool who had won 5-0 in Bergamo on Matchday 3 – Atalanta’s heaviest European defeat – before Gian Piero Gasperini’s side turned the tables with a famous 2-0 victory at Anfield.

Leaky defence

19:29 , Michael Jones

Man Utd have kept just one clean sheet in their last 13 Champions League outings, on Matchday 2 of the 2020/21 campaign when they beat RB Leipzig 5-0.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

If Manchester United are less than the sum of their parts, Atalanta are much greater than theirs

19:24 , Michael Jones

As the dust settled on Manchester United’s fourth defeat in seven games, Brendan Rodgers was more than happy to explain how it came about to journalists at the King Power.

Essentially, it all boiled down to pressing: the eagerness of his Leicester City players to win the ball high up the pitch on the one hand and the reluctance of United’s players to do the same on the other.

Atalanta are much greater than sum of their parts, unlike Manchester United

Man Utd vs Italian teams

19:20 , Michael Jones

Manchester United have a good record against Italian teams especially at home. They have won seven of their last nine home matches against Italian clubs with one draw and just one defeat.

However their opponents tonight know how to win in a top English stadium. Atalanta beat Liverpool at Anfield last season, becoming only the second Italian side to do so in the Champions League.

A half-century for Bruno

19:17 , Michael Jones

Bruno Fernandes will make his 50th appearance in European competition when his starts for Manchester United tonight. The Portuguese’s record in Europe is 49 games played, 24 goals scored and 20 assists created. Not too shabby.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

United arrive at Old Trafford

19:13 , Michael Jones

Manchester United have arrived at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a couple of big changes to his team. He’s dropped Paul Pogba and returned to the Fred/McTominay midfield partnership. Will these changes work out for him tonight?

Rashford on Atalanta

19:10 , Michael Jones

More from Marcus Rashford who also spoke about what he’s expecting from tonight’s opponents.

Atalanta come into the game on the back of a 4-1 win over Empoli in Serie A. They’re in good form and have are unbeaten in the Champions League this season.

Rashford said:

They have a very aggressive style in attack and defence. It’s going to be a tough and intense game. I believe this game will bring the best out of our players."

Rashford on winning trophies

19:05 , Michael Jones

Marcus Rashford spoke in a press conference yesterday about Manchester United’s desire to win trophies and about how they need to come up with a way to challenge more. He said:

Everyone wants to win trophies, but there are steps you have to take to get there. We have to find the difference between coming close and getting our hands on the trophies."

Man Utd’s Champions League campaign

19:01 , Michael Jones

Manchester United are entering a tough run of fixtures that sees them play Atalanta twice in the Champions League and Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City in the Premier League over the next three weeks.

The results from these games could have a huge bearing on United’s season with the prospect of getting knocked out of the Champions League a real possibility if they lose twice to Atalanta.

Three points this evening may be enough to send them to the top of Group F and ease the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of a clash with Liverpool this weekend.

Manchester United going ‘back to basics’ after Leicester defeat, Marcus Rashford reveals

18:57 , Michael Jones

Marcus Rashford underlined the importance of going “back to basics” after Manchester United players discussed the embarrassing loss at Leicester.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looked set to escape from the King Power Stadium with a fortuitous point after the forward came off the bench to score on his first appearance since summer shoulder surgery.

But Jamie Vardy and Patson Daka goals in quick succession sealed the Foxes a 4-2 victory that heaped pressure on United at a key period of the campaign.

Manchester United going ‘back to basics’, Marcus Rashford reveals

Team changes - Man Utd

18:53 , Michael Jones

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes three changes to the starting XI that lost to Leicester City in the Premier League at the weekend.

Paul Pogba drops to the bench as does his midfield partner for that game Nemanja Matic with Solskjaer electing for a midfield of Scott McTominay and Fred.

Marcus Rashford also makes his first start since recovering from injury. He scored as a substitute against Leicester but tonight he replaces Jadon Sancho in the team.

Line-ups - Man Utd vs Atalanta

18:46 , Michael Jones

Here’s the Manchester United starting XI:

Man Utd: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo

Atalanta XI: Musso, Maehle, Palomino, Koopmeiners, Muriel, Freuler, De Roon, Demiral, Ilicic, Zappacosta, Pasalic

Group F standings

18:44 , Michael Jones

Man Utd head into the game sitting third in the group. They’ve had two entertaining encounters so far in the Champions League, losing to Young Boys on Matchday 1 thanks to a 95th minute winner from Theoson Siebatcheu before defeating Villarreal with a 95th minute winner of their own last time out.

Atalanta top Group F after two games. On Matchday 1 they drew 2-2 with Villarreal after Robin Gosens scored in the 83rd minute to secure a point. Last time out the Italian side picked up three points with a 1-0 victory over Young Boys to put them at the top of the group.

Early team news - Man Utd vs Atalanta

18:36 , Michael Jones

Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial are absent for Man Utd due to injury but Edinson Cavani and Fred could return after missing the defeat to Leicester City at the weekend.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also available again after serving a one-match ban.

Manchester United vs Atalanta live updates

17:06 , Karl Matchett

Welcome to the Independent’s live coverage of the Champions League group stage clash between Manchester United and Atalanta.

The Old Trafford side are hoping to bounce back to form after their weekend humbling by Leicester City - and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has work to do to continue to show he’s the right man for the job with the Red Devils. Questions are again being asked of him after a string of poor performances, which include the last European outing against Villarreal - though they did snatch a late win there, at least. That leaves United second in the group, a point behind leaders Atalanta and level with Young Boys - while Villarreal are bottom with just the one point.

Atalanta, meanwhile, continue to impress despite not being filled with household names and have punched above their weight in Italy for some time. Victory at Old Trafford is a tall order, but they are to be respected after some great showings in Europe over the last couple of years.

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