Manchester United looked done. But down 2-0 to visiting Atalanta at halftime, the Red Devils found a way to overturn the result and claim a big 3-2 win that revives it’s chances to advance from UEFA Champions League Group F.
At one point during the night Manchester United dropped last in the group, but it finished the night at the top. The winning goal was authored by that man again: Cristiano Ronaldo scored the decisive third goal nine minutes from time on an imperious header in the box that was the exclamation mark to an incredible comeback.
Atalanta scored two goals inside the opening half hour and Manchester United looked out of sorts. When the Red Devils failed to convert two good chances before halftime, it felt like this was not going to be their night. Then something happened at halftime because Man United was a step ahead of Atalanta from the opening whistle of the second half.
MORE: Champions League group standings and schedule
Marcus Rashford got things started with a goal in his first start of the season, then Harry Maguire equalized when a cross found him at the far post and he shot into the empty side of the net. With the momentum of the match in Manchester United’s favor, the winning goal finally came after a Luke Shaw cross from the left found Ronaldo for his powerful downward header to clinch a famous win.
Atalanta will regret being unable to close out the match. It could have potentially put this game away in the 71st minute. Up 2-1, the visitors unleashed two fierce shots off which were both blocked by Man United goalkeeper David De Gea, who kept his team in the game.
These two teams will face each other again on Italian soil in the next matchday on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Atalanta will be eyeing revenge and it could overtake the Red Devils in the standings with a win.
Group F standings
|1. Manchester United||6||3||2||1||0||6||5||+1|
|4. BSC Young Boys||3||3||1||2||0||3||6||-3|
Manchester United vs. Atalanta final score
ATA — Mario Pasalic (David Zappacosta) — 15th min.
ATA — Merih Demiral (Teun Koopmeiners) — 29th min.
MANU — Marcus Rashford (Bruno Fernandes) — 53rd min.
MANU — Harry Maguire — 75th min.
MANU — Cristiano Ronaldo (Luke Shaw) — 81st min.
(All times Eastern)
Final: Manchester United 3, Atalanta 2
96th min.: That’s it! Atalanta couldn’t get anything going in stoppage time. The Red Devils hold on. What a win.
90th min.: Four minutes of stoppage time.
88th min.: Man United makes another sub, bringing on Nemanja Matic to kill off the game, and Atalanta finally gets to take a corner kick, but nothing comes of it.
81st min.: Cristiano Ronaldo scores! Man United have overturned the result! Luke Shaw with a cross from deep and Ronaldo rises up to head it down past Musso. Incredible.
80th min.: Atalanta’s Juan Musso with the big save on Bruno Fernandes. And Atalanta brings on Giuseppe Pezzella for Teun Koopmeiners.
75th min.: Maguire scores! The captain was waiting at the far post and a cross somehow makes its way through traffic right to Maguire. Cristiano Ronaldo dummied it to Maguire.
YOU’RE A WIZARD, HARRY. 💥
MAN UTD’S CAPTAIN SCORES HIS FIRST GOAL SINCE JANUARY AND WHAT A TIME TO SCORE IT.
GAME ON. 🍿 pic.twitter.com/B3T09IxK5g
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) October 20, 2021
73rd min.: SUB – Jadon Sancho comes on for Mason Greenwood. This would be a great opportunity for him to have his first impact showing for the Red Devils.
71st min.: Two straight saves by David De Gea! Both shots were absolute rockets from Duvan Zapata and Ruslan Malinovskyi. The second shot goes for a corner kick. That led to another chance and another corner. Atalanta wants more.
68th min.: SUBS – Atalanta counters by changing up its attack with Aleksei Miranchuk and Ruslan Malinovskyi coming in for Josip Ilicic and Mario Pasalic. Together with Zapata, the front three have fresh legs.
66th min.: SUBS – And here come Pogba and Cavani. It’s McTominay and Rashford making room. Rashford had picked up a knock after the goal and looked bothered by it.
64th min.: What a stop by Atalanta’s Musso! Fernandes serves Ronaldo in the box and his shot through the defender’s legs is stopped at full extension. Meanwhile, Luke Shaw is booked on the Atalanta transition. This game’s good.
63rd min.: Atalanta with two shots from distance from Maehle and Koopmeiners, but they don’t threaten. Atalanta getting back into this game.
58th min.: Man United hits the post! Mason Greenwood with the cross from the right and McTominay was crashing the goal and he puts it off the right post.
57th min.: Now Pasalic and De Roon get back to back yellow cards. Atalanta players are late to everything. It’s almost like Man United have a fresh energy about them and Atalanta was not ready for it. Meanwhile, Duvan Zapata comes on for Luis Muriel.
55th min.: Atalanta’s Lovato gets a yellow for bringing down Ronaldo and it’s Cristiano himself who takes the free kick, but it’s a tough angle and he can’t get it on target.
53rd min.: Man United scores! Bruno Fernandes sends a beautiful assist down the left to Marcus Rashford and he finally beats Musso. It’s 2-1.
47th min.: Musso with the stop on Cristiano Ronaldo! He closed the angle and blocked it with his chest.
46th min.: We’re off. Matteo Lovato comes on for Merih Demiral.
Halftime: Manchester United 0, Atalanta 2
46th+ min.: Take that back. It’s Rashford with the best look of the half. Demiral misplays a ball over the top and Rashford is one-on-one against the ‘keeper and fires it off the top of the crossbar.
44th min.: What a chance for Fred! It was United’s best chance of the first half. A beautiful Bruno Fernandes pass sends him into the box with the ball on his right foot, but Fred curled it wide right. That could’ve changed the momentum of the game right before halftime.
42nd min.: What a tackle in the box by Merih Demiral on Marcus Rashford! The flag comes up, but Demiral celebrates that like he’d just scored again.
41st min.: Manchester United is struggling to cause this Atalanta team any defensive issues. Joakim Maehle cuts off another pass.
36th min.: Cristiano Ronaldo wants a penalty kick! No way that’s going to be called. Merih Demiral defended it well and Ronaldo went down off balance as he tried to take a shot. Paul Pogba is warming up.
35th min.: There’s been no response from Manchester United after going down 2-0. What’s concerning for the Red Devils is that Villarreal is also winning 2-0 on the road at Young Boys, where Man United lost.
31st min.: Demiral seemed to have a muscular issue and after scoring the goal he looked to be grabbing his hamstring. Still no sign he could be coming off.
29th min.: Goal Atalanta! They’re 2-0 up. It’s Merih Demiral heading home a Teun Koopmeiners corner kick. Incredible turn of events. That was Harry Maguire who couldn’t keep up with Demiral on that play.
27th min.: Shot by Cristiano Ronaldo in the box and it’s stopped by Musso low at the near post. Easy stop.
25th min.: Atalanta defending comfortably in its own half. It’s not taking too many risks with the press.
23rd min.: Man United cross goes off Jose Palomino’s arm in the box, but it was tucked in tightly against his body. No penalty.
15th min.: Atalanta takes the lead! Well-worked play. Luis Muriel stretches the defense, ball goes wide right to an unmarked Davide Zappacosta who is free to cross it to Mario Pasalic, who was waiting in the six-yard box.
10th min.: Atalanta’s Juan Musso comes off his line to catch a deflected Bruno Fernandes shot. Moments later Merih Demiral shoulders Ronaldo off a ball over the top. Atalanta is absorbing what Man United have to offer so far. The Red Devils are trying to go vertical quickly and not give Atalanta a chance to get set.
6th min.: Strong spell of possession for Atalanta. Even though it’s missing a few players, La Dea is fearless and it’s going toe-to-toe. If the visitors were supposed to weather a storm, that hasn’t come from Manchester United.
3rd min.: Big chance for Man United! Marcus Rashford was put through on goal, but in the one-on-one against Atalanta goalkeeper Musso, he pushes it wide left. He’s off the hook – the assistant raises the flag. He was offside.
1st min.: We’re off. This should be a good one.
2:20 p.m. ET: It’s worth pointing out before kickoff that Atalanta didn’t exactly get a good night’s sleep.
Manchester United vs. Atalanta: Starting lineups
Marcus Rashford, who scored in his first appearance of the season against Leicester City, gets his first start. He’ll join Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood on the forward line, as Jadon Sancho sits. Paul Pogba is the other surprise exclusion from the starting lineup though his recent performances have been subpar.
Manchester United starting lineup (4-2-3-1, right to left): 1-David de Gea-GK — 29-Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 2-Victor Lindelof, 5-Harry Maguire (c), 23-Luke Shaw — 17-Fred, 39-Scott McTominay — 11-Mason Greenwood, 18-Bruno Fernandes, 10-Marcus Rashford — 7-Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United subs (12): 26-Dean Henderson-GK, 27-Alex Telles, 3-Eric Bailly, 20-Diogo Dalot, 34-Donny van de Beek, 31-Nemanja Matic, 6-Paul Pogba, 14-Jesse Lingard, 8-Juan Mata, 25-Jadon Sancho, 21-Edinson Cavani, 36-Anthony Elanga
For the first-ever matchup against Manchester United, Atalanta decides to leave the talented Ruslan Malinovskyi and Duvan Zapata on the bench, but they’ll probably be among the first subs. The team has had to cobble together a back line, moving midfielder Marten de Roon to join the defenders.
Atalanta starting lineup (3-4-3, left to right): 1-Juan Musso-GK — 6-Jose Palomino, 28-Merih Demiral, 15-Marten de Roon — 3-Joakim Maehle, 7-Teun Koopmeiners, 11-Remo Freuler, 77-Davide Zappacosta — 9-Luis Muriel, 88-Mario Pasalic, 72-Josip Ilicic
Atalanta subs (9): 31-Francesco Rossi-GK, 57-Marco Sportiello, 13-Giuseppe Pezzella, 18-Ruslan Malinovskyi, 42-Giorgio Scalvini, 59-Aleksei Miranchuk, 66-Matteo Lovato, 91-Duvan Zapata, 99-Roberto Piccoli
How to watch Manchester United vs. Atalanta
- Date: Wed, Oct. 20
- Time: 3 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: UniMas, TUDN
- Streaming (USA): fuboTV, Paramount+
- Streaming (Canada): DAZN
The Manchester United vs. Atalanta matchup will be available to watch in both English and Spanish. UniMas and TUDN will carry the broadcast on TV in Spanish and both channels are available to stream via fuboTV , which is available for new users with a free 7-day trial . The English-language broadcast is available via CBS streaming platform Paramount+.
DAZN has the UEFA Champions League rights in Canada and will stream the match for subscribers.