Solskjaer and Rashford preview Atalanta clash
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Manchester United stunned Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday night as they overcame a 2-0 half-time deficit to claim a 3-2 victory on an exhilarating night at Old Trafford. The win put United into the driving seat at the top of Group F.
Mario Pasalic opened the scoring for the Italian side after 15 minutes as he steered in Davide Zappacosta’s cross.
And the visitors were in dreamland before the half-hour mark when Merih Demiral headed home Teun Koopmeiners’ corner.
United were guilty of missing a hatful of chances in the opening period and were booed off the pitch at the break.
But the Red Devils were a different animal after the interval and Marcus Rashford gave his side hope eight minutes into the second half as he finished well from a tight angle.
The hosts then got themselves level with 15 minutes remaining as Harry Maguire drilled home after Edinson Cavani had flicked on Bruno Fernandes’ inviting cross.
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United pushed for a winner and it inevitably arrived from Cristiano Ronaldo as the Portugal international rose to fire a bullet header into the corner.
Fernandes was once again United’s chief creator during the entertaining affair in Manchester as both sides looked to attack.
The playmaker assisted Rashford’s goal and laid on chance after chance for his team-mates.
And it has now been revealed by Opta that the eight chances the man-of-the-match created was more than any other Man Utd player has managed in a single match in the Champions League since the 2003/04 campaign.
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Fernandes credited his creative display to his bravery and willingness to attempt ‘risky’ passes.
Speaking about his and United’s performance, he said: “I don’t think we played poor in the first half.
“I know people expect a lot because we are a big club, to perform at the same level every half – but sometimes the other team causes you problems.
“You have to take a risk – maybe not as many as I did in first half when I missed many passes.
“Sometimes I know the pass is difficult or chance to get in not quite there but I want to respect my strikers and try to make them score.
“Our focus was all on this game – we have to think game by game.
“I know the standard here has to be high – the main point for us has to be game by game.
“You have to think of the game you have in hand and not what is coming after.”
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