Cristiano Ronaldo says Manchester United “are alive” after the superstar scored late on to secure an epic comeback win against Atalanta and ease pressure on under-fire manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The 36-year-old scored an 81st-minute winner to condemn the Serie A team to defeat at Old Trafford, who led 2-0 at half-time.
It set Ronaldo up for a trademark late header, leaping above Atalanta’s defence to nod home the winner and alleviate pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
And post-match, United’s No.7 wrote on social media: “Yes! The Theater Of Dreams is on fire! We are alive!
“We are Man. United and we never give up! This is Old Trafford!”
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The night got off to the worst possible start for Solskjaer and co as Mario Pasalic and Merih Demiral struck at the Stratford End inside 29 minutes.
Bottom of the group and booed off at the break, the Red Devils had their work cut out.
But unlike in the first half, they began to finish their chances, the first being Rashford’s cool finish which came courtesy of a sublime Bruno Fernandes pass.
Fernandes was involved again for United’s second as he whipped in a cross which eventually found Maguire, with the defender producing a striker’s finish to make it 2-2.
Luke Shaw was then the provider for Ronaldo, who scored his second last-gasp clincher in as many Champions League games back at Old Trafford to send his side top of Group F.
“He’s great in front of goal,” the Norwegian told BT Sport.
“If anyone wants to criticise him for work rate or attitude, just watch this game. Watch how he runs around.
“The header is not on a par with his Roma one [in 2008 when United last won the competition during his first spell] but he’s still got a leap and timing like no-one else.”
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Solskjaer added: “[The result was] massive.
“I’ve said if you win your home games and get results away from home, you’ve got a good chance of going through.
He went on to admit: “We didn’t play well against Villarreal, but we got the three points and dug in and I think tonight was a special night in terms of the togetherness, the spirit, the fight that we showed in the second half to keep believing and to keep pushing.
“As I said, the fans gave us that. The energy that we felt from the fans in the second half was incredible.”