Five things we learned in the 2-2 draw Manchester vs Atalanta.
Manchester United played a 2-2 draw against Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League group stage at Gewiss Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Red Devils had to come back twice to level the game, a double by Cristiano Ronaldo earned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a very important point against Gasperini’s men.
We take a look at what we learned from the match.
1. The 3-5-2 formation cannot solve defensive problems
During a pre-match press conference, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed that he will not stick to the 3-5-2 he used against Tottenham and that he can change at any time.
You may have to consider going back to 4-2-3-1. The objective of the 3-5-2 was to prevent the team from conceding too many goals.
Atalanta took the lead in the eleventh minute, through Josip Ilicic. The formation could have worked against a limited Tottenham, but not against a team of free goalscorers.
2. Raphael Varane Injury Blow
In the 36th minute of the game, United suffered a major setback, as defender Raphael Varane received a blow, it seems that he injured a muscle. Varane has just returned from a groin injury.
Mason Greenwood was hired by the injured Frenchman when United returned to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
United could be left without the services of Raphael Varane when they face rival Manchester City this weekend, which will be a major blow with Victor Lindelof also out by knockout.
3. Paul Pogba’s weakness
Paul Pogba had a terrible night, especially in the first half of the game.
If he wasn’t passing passes to the opponent, he was passing the ball out of play and was bad on defense.
He was lucky to stay on the field for so long with such a display. He was finally replaced in the 68th minute by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
It was a sloppy performance from the Frenchman and it feels beneficial that he is not available this weekend due to the suspension.
4. The magic of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes
Cristiano Ronaldo has already scored five goals in four Champions League games for United.
He scored a double in Italy to keep Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from blushing.
The first goal was pure class as the two Portuguese internationals combined, Bruno Fernadez reversed to set up United’s first goal.
The goal was outstanding and as long as United have players like Fernandes and Ronaldo on the team, there is always a possibility.
Ronaldo’s last goal was an incredible tying goal from the edge of the area.
5. Manchester United still in the lead
The other group match saw Villarreal defeat the Young Boys 2-0. The result led the Spanish team to the same points as Atalanta.
A tie that kept together ahead of Atalanta in the group and very key for the next game against Villarreal.
United will have to avoid a loss to Villarreal, although a loss will not mean a total elimination, but it would have happened if they had lost last night’s game.