Ronaldo’s Heroics Hide United’s Flaws

Manchester United’s second season with Cristiano Ronaldo has already delivered two unforgettable moments, as the Red Devils came from behind to beat Villarreal and Atalanta in the Champions League last 16.

As a result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad now seems more like a collection of brilliant individuals than a cohesive one since Ronaldo’s comeback.

If United lost against Atalanta by 2-0 at halftime on Wednesday, it would be their sixth loss in their previous eight games.

Solskjaer has less pressure after a stunning second-half comeback lifted United from the bottom of Group F to the top at the final whistle.

After Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire had put the hosts ahead, Ronaldo sealed the comeback with a thunderous header.

Recent criticism of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner stems from allegations that his presence on the squad has been harmful.

Ronaldo’s inability to get away from the ball has been blamed for United’s poor defensive record.

However, he has six goals in nine games where it matters most: on the opposite end of the field.

In the opinion of Solskjaer, he’s a fantastic goal scorer. “Anyone who wants to make a snide remark about his productivity or demeanor should just look at this game. Keep an eye on him when he’s running about.”

A much-needed three points lowering the danger of crashing out of the group stage for the second season in a row, but there is still much work to be done with visits to Atalanta and Villarreal yet to come.

In the meantime, the focus remains on Solskjaer.

Before the November international break, Liverpool will visit Old Trafford on Sunday, followed by Tottenham and Manchester City.

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To slip five points behind the league leaders, Manchester United has only managed to pick up one point from its last three games against Aston Villa, Everton, and Leicester.

“The opening half of the game was tense. It didn’t seem to be a team at all “Paul Scholes, a former Manchester United midfielder, made this statement.

“Is it possible for them to defeat Liverpool in such a manner? Not a chance in a million. Are you capable of playing Manchester City in such a manner? Can you do it against one of the best teams in the Champions League?

“I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but I was really concerned throughout the first half.”

During the last 20 minutes of the game, when Atalanta still led 2-1, Solskjaer was dependent on goalkeeper David de Gea for a big double save.

Despite the return to form of the Spanish goalkeeper, the Red Devils have only managed to preserve one clean sheet in their past 20 outings.

“I know we have to defend better,” Solskjaer said. “When you allow simple goals, it seems that we are inconsistent as a team.

In the next few weeks, we’ll face some top-notch competition, so we can’t afford to give up any more easy goals.

There have been ups and downs in Solskjaer’s almost three years as manager. While he has yet to win a trophy, he is credited for bringing the team back into the Premier League’s top four on a regular basis and routinely reaching the cup semifinals.

As a result of Ronaldo’s comeback, the Premier League is in for another wild ride, but unless things pick up significantly in the next weeks, it may all come to an end.

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