Manchester United Player Ratings vs Atalanta (October 20, 2021)

Written By Uttiyo Sarkar on October 20, 2021 - Last Updated on October 21, 2021

After suffering a horrific humiliation in the Premier League at the weekend, Manchester United are determined to bounce back strongly against Atalanta in a key Champions League group game. They did just that, grinding out a dramatic 3-2 comeback win to go top of their UCL group. 

It was Atalanta who took the lead in the 15th minute after Mario Pasalic finished off a well-crafted move to make it 1-0. The visitors kept taking their chances and doubled their lead in the 29th minute when defender Merih Demiral leapt the highest to score an emphatic header, making it 2-0!

United leapt into life after that, but were unable to get any goals in the first half – with both Marcus Rashford and Fred missing big chances. But Rashford made up for his errors by pulling one back in the 53rd minute with a clever finish from close range.

United kept going for more and got things level in the 75th minute, when Harry Maguire of all people popped in the far post and smartly scored from close range to make it 2-2!

Cristiano Ronaldo completed the comeback 7 minutes later, scoring a brilliant header from Luke Shaw’s impressive cross. It ended up being a game of two halves at Old Trafford, filled with plenty of drama, action & goals! A vital win for United too before the Liverpool game – one which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope acts a turning point for United’s season. 

Here are Manchester United player ratings vs Atalanta

Manchester United player ratings vs Atalanta

Manager

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (6.5)–  

As it’s been the case through this season, Solskjaer again tinkered & changed his side after the loss to Leicester. It didn’t really solve many issues, as United conceded 2 goals in the first half-hour. His side looked detached and all over the place in an underwhelming second half.

But Ole again proved how good he can be under pressure, sending out a highly motivated side in the second half. He kept his side chugging for goals and eventually sealed the comeback win, with the substitutes also playing prominent roles in it!

Definitely an encouraging result after the weekend’s nightmare, but there remain visible issues in United’s game that need to be solved . Has to improve his team’s performance to go toe-to-toe against Liverpool on Sunday. 

Goalkeeper

David de Gea (7.5) –  

And in another game, De Gea concedes an early goal due to no fault of his own. Couldn’t do much to stop the Demiral’s thunderous header either. Makes two fantastic saves to deny Atalanta a 3rd in the 71st minute. United weren’t getting the win unless he made those saves. Continues his impressive form!

Defenders

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (7.0) –

Wan-Bissaka had a very frustrating first half, being unable to send in any quality crosses or make any impact on the right-wing. But he leapt up to life in the second half, showing a lot of positive energy to carry the ball forward down the right. Put in a solid defensive display too, helping keep the opponents quiet down his side. 

Harry Maguire (7.0) –  

Maguire had a nightmare against Leicester at the weekend and redeemed himself in this one. Still doesn’t seem convincing enough and couldn’t do much to stop Demiral from scoring. But makes up for his slight error by scoring a surprising goal – producing a striker-esque finish from inside the box! Defensively a bit topsy-turvy, but the United captain showed impressive character to score the second and light up the comeback. 

Victor Lindelof (6.0) –

The Swede was caught horrible out of position before Pasalic’s goal and couldn’t stop Davide Zappacosta from sending in the pass leading to it. Improved towards the second half, closing down spaces well and ensuring Atalanta didn’t get many more clear-cut chances to score. 

Luke Shaw (7.0) –  

Shaw was caught a bit out of position in the first goal. Clearly at fault for the second, letting Demiral outjump him to score from a corner. After being sloppy with his crosses all game long, Luke produces a fantastic cross to set up Ronaldo’s goal. Improved defensively towards the end to help his side get past the finish line. 

Midfielders

Scott McTominay (5.5) –

McTominay looks sharp early on, making a nice forward run to create a decent chance in the 3rd. Lost track of Pasalic before his goal. Hits the bar from close range in the 58th after making a sharp run into the box. Did his best to stop a few Atalanta attacks from happening – but looked a bit outmatched in midfield against the Atalanta midfielders. 

Fred (7.0) –

After missing the Leicester game, Fred is back to provide more energy in midfield. Surprisingly got inside the box in the 19th but his shot was saved really well. Then again moves into the box brilliantly in the 44th, but his shot goes barely wide.

Full of energy in midfield and covered a lot of ground to regain possession, make smart passes & clutch challenges to avert danger. Seemingly suffered an injury late on, which will be worrying. 

Bruno Fernandes (8.0)

Fernandes is hungry to create big chances here, but getting his passes all wrong early on. After many misplaced passes, finally gets one long ball perfect in the 42nd but sees Rashford unable to convert. Sends Fred into the box with another clever pass two minutes later. Makes a delightful through ball to split open the Atalanta defence and create Rashford’s goal. 

And then sets up Maguire’s goal with a brilliant cross into the far post. Nearly scores his own minutes after that, but his left-footed attempt was saved really well. Fernandes actually didn’t perform that well today – BUT STILL created 9 goal-scoring chances & assisted 2 goals. That’s enough proof of how influential he is to this side. 

Forwards

Mason Greenwood (5.5) –

Having scored a screamer against Leicester, Greenwood keeps his place in this one. But unable to do anything prominent in the first half, kept quite isolated by the opposition defenders. Creates a decent chance for McTominay to hit the bar in the 58th. Had a quiet game apart from that, misplacing some passes too. 

Marcus Rashford (7.5) –

Rashford makes his first start of the season. Troubling Atalanta with his bursting forward runs. Got through on goal after a clever run in the 42nd, but gets the ball stolen before being able to take the shot. Then powers a shot over the bar from a decent 1v1 situation before half-time. Struck the rebound from Ronaldo’s shot wide of the goal in the 48th. 

Scored the goal after a lot of chances – but Rashford’s impressive movement & off-the-ball runs helped create some of United’s best chances. Subbed off after the hour-mark. 

Cristiano Ronaldo (8.0) –

CR7 makes his 300th appearance for United today. Looks sharp today and did really well to create a good chance for Fred in the 19th. Has an attempt saved in the 26th after taking a thunderous shot on goal. Then hits another shot straight at the keeper in a 1v1 chance in the 48th. Struck an ambitious free-kick wide in the 56th. 

Denied by the keeper again in the 63rd after hitting a great left-footed shot on goal. After trying & trying & trying, he produces a fantastic header to complete the comeback for United! 

After being blamed for not working hard enough, Ronaldo put in a really hard-working shift today. He also tested the goalkeeper with constant shots, created decent chances and scored a spectacular winner. You can’t keep Mr. Champions League quiet in these games!

Substitutions

Paul Pogba (7.0) –

Pogba oozed class in his 25-odd minute cameo – helping turn things around for his side. Moved the ball forward efficiently, played some sublime passes & worked hard defensively to help them get the win. 

Edinson Cavani (6.5) –

Played a nice role before Maguire’s goal, cleverly helping it through for the defender to score. Booked towards the end, but Cavani’s tenacity & never-say-die attitude played their part in the win. 

Jadon Sancho (N/R) –

Sancho finally played in his natural right-wing role and looked bright carrying the ball forward again. Needs to start games in that role, though. 

Nemanja Matic (N/R) –

Got a booking late on, but helped United get the win. 

MAN OF THE MATCH

Mr. Inevitable Ronaldo had a great game and scored a brilliant header. But I’d have to give this to Bruno, who energized the comeback by creating so many chances. It wasn’t really his greatest performance, but still good enough to give him the MOTM award. 

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Uttiyo Sarkar

An unbiased Manchester United die-hard. Lover of the beautiful game. Addicted to the Premier League and beyond. Hopeful writer in the search for the greater good.

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