Atalanta vs Manchester United final score: Ronaldo saves the day

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Where would Manchester United be had they not stumped up the money for Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a pair of equalizers in a 2-2 draw at Atalanta in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday.

United lost centerback Raphael Varane in the first half and was in danger of losing the match 2-1 in Bergamo thanks to a goal and an assist from Duvan Zapata.

But Ronaldo’s sweet strike off a Mason Greenwood assist added to his fine finish off a sensational Bruno Fernandes pass to deliver a point to the visitors and keep them in a top two place in the group.

[ MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo reacts to latest heroics ]

Josip Ilicic also scored for the Serie A side, who conceded a classy combination goal to Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo before reclaiming the lead from the Red Devils.

Varane, just back from an injury, left before the game was 40 minutes old. The defense struggled in his absence and David De Gea did not have his best match between the posts.

United is on 7 points, the same as victorious Villarreal after La Liga’s mainstays beat Young Boys. Atalanta’s five points are two fewer than the leaders and two more than Young Boys.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

It doesn’t get easier for the Red Devils, who head to Villarreal while Atalanta travels to Young Boys. The final day sees Young Boys at Old Trafford and Villarreal at Atalanta.


Atalanta vs Manchester United final score, stats

Final score: Atalanta 2, Manchester United 2

Scorers: Ilicic (12′), Ronaldo (45’+1, 90’+1), Zapata (56′)

Shot attempts: Manchester United, 13-10

Shots on goal: 4-4

Possession: Manchester United, 53%


Three things we learned from Atalanta vs Manchester United

1. Ronaldo saves defenders’ blushes: The man called CR7 scored two wonderful equalizers to snag a draw from the jaws of defeat in Bergamo, as Duvan Zapata was a force too strong for Man United’s defenders to handle (especially after Raphael Varane limped off the pitch). The first goal was an aesthetically-pleasing marvel that owes as much to Bruno Fernandes as Ronaldo, but the Portuguese center forward’s marvelous shot to tie the game was sincerely all about an all-time great doing all-time great things.

2. Atalanta is very good: On balance, Atalanta deserved better than their 3-2 loss at Old Trafford and they showed why today. Gian Piero Gasparini is a heck of a manager and Atalanta knew what it needed to do once Varane came out of the game. If not for that meddling Ronaldo…

3. Harry’s hairy patch continues: Already without Varane following his first-half injury, Zapata’s perfectly-timed run beat a slow Eric Bailly and Zapata overcame Maguire’s foul on a poorly-timed sliding challenge — You might’ve gotten there without the needless arm-up call of offside — to pop the ball past De Gea. Maguire did not manage a clearance, interception, or blocked shot, but did manage two fouls. This is his worst patch since joining United.

Man of the Match: Duvan Zapata