6 Ups and 3 Downs From Man United 3-2 AtalantaGriffochaz
That is football.
Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are in a difficult spell at the moment and with Liverpool on the horizon, the time is now for the Norwegian to prove he is the man to take United to the top.
With that being said, I’m not focusing on the managerial situation or Liverpool right now because that game of football, even for a neutral, was what us fans want from the Champions League and thankfully that win means United are in a good position to progress in that tournament.
So, let’s compose ourselves and take a different perspective as we look at the ups and downs of this vintage Champions League night.
DOWN – MAGULOF THE WEAK SPOT
We all know by now that the Maguire-Lindelof partnership has many weaknesses and that was exposed a number of times against Atalanta. The two goals we conceded could easily be blamed on both the centre backs and despite having Raphael Varane, you still need a strong alternative at the back and United won’t find that in Magulof.
Zapata gave Lindelof nightmares when he came on and had the Columbian been playing from the start, the result may have been very different.
We may have won the game but conceding sloppy goals yet again is something that needs fixing ASAP and hopefully Varane can help with that once he returns to fitness.
DOWN – GUESS WHO’S BACK? BACK AGAIN?
McFred are back. Tell Ole to not play them together EVER again.
I’m not going to waste words talking about a problem we have had for a few seasons now but we should bring up the fact that Mctominay and Fred were overrun in the middle of the park yet again.
Solskjaer clearly trusts McFred and in games where he needs the win, he will choose the pair but as a permanent fixture in the midfield, Man United may not reach the summit that they should be reaching.
DOWN – FIRST HALF FAILINGS
Let’s be fair. As much as we are all smiling from ear to ear after that sensational comeback, we should have never been in that position and when your home fans boo you off at half time in the Champions League then something has gone horribly wrong.
While the boos may have been the driving force behind that victory, Man United had the chances to put the game to bed way before the Old Trafford massive started jeering.
The Red Devils didn’t even play that well in the first 45 but both Fred and Marcus Rashford had two big chances each and Cristiano Ronaldo also had a few attempts go abegging.
We won’t be able to get away with that attacking sloppiness come Sunday against Liverpool so we need to work on being more clinical and taking our chances when we get them.
UP – A DOUBLE SAVE WORTHY OF THE CL
In a rollercoaster season for Man United, there has only been one constant and his name is David De Gea. He has firmly cemented his number 1 spot from Dean Henderson, and no one can complain not even the English keeper.
The double save in the second half was inspired and those sorts of moments are coming game in game out for the Spaniard.
I truly believe David De Gea is back to his best and is now back in the conversation with the likes of Ederson, Alisson and Edouard Mendy.
UP – SPIDER COMES BACK FIGHTING
Aaron Wan Bissaka had a tough time against Young Boys and his red card is a big reason why United have been fighting with a hand tied behind their back throughout this group stage.
With that being said, I am seeing far more consistency from game to game with AWB and that is something that is crucial for the club.
You look at Trent for Liverpool, Walker and Cancelo for City and Azpilicueta and Reece James for Chelsea and you see consistent right backs and Wan Bissaka is rapidly joining them in that category.
Even the attacking element of his game has improved over the last year and while he still isn’t a multi-assist outlet, he is becoming a very dependable member of the team at the back and up front.
UP – SHAW-BERTO CARLOS HAS RETURNED
You wouldn’t have seen Luke Shaw’s name on many ups and downs this season because he hasn’t been doing enough to warrant and up but hasn’t put many feet wrong to deserve a down but Luke donned his Brazilian cape and transformed into his alter-ego, Shaw-Berto Carlos in the second half against Atalanta.
His position for the opening goal was extremely suspect however he more than made up for it with his world class cross that landed firmly on the head of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Let’s hope we can see more dynamite performances from one of the best left backs in the world currently.
UP – THE DOCTOR RUNS THE SHOW
Bloody hell how good is it to have Marcus Rashford back?
The man lives and breathes Manchester United and he showed yet again why he is a widely talented footballer.
His lighting runs through and behind the defence of Atalanta were superb and he was a big reason why United had such a grip hold on this game.
Hopefully, the knock he sustained mid second half won’t take him out of the Liverpool game because with his pace and running intelligence against Klopp’s high line will be crucial for United if they have any chance of taking points on Sunday.
UP – COMMETH THE HOUR, COMMETH THE MAN
During the game, I thought to myself that brining Cristiano Ronaldo off the pitch wouldn’t be the worst idea. He didn’t look himself in front of goal and when he did get into the game, he would often struggle to make good on that chance.
Well, that is why I’m not the manager of Manchester United because all the Portuguese legend needs is one chance and he will win you a game of football and at Old Trafford under the Champions League lights, it almost seems inevitable.
UP – OLE ISN’T GOING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT
Whether you are Ole In or Ole Out, you have to take your hat off and praise Mr. Solskjaer for the way he handled the game, especially the second half.
I felt the subs were all spot on and came at the right time and the way he managed the game after each of our three goals shows that despite what people might think, Ole does have some form of tactics.
Fingers crossed, Ole does what Ole does and he can put a great run of form together and claw United back in contention for the league title and use this major Atalanta result as a springboard for the future.
Are you still pumped after the win? Let us know your thoughts down below.