Atalanta vs Manchester United – 5 things we learnt

Atalanta vs United

Manchester United drew 2-2 away to Atalanta at the Gewiss Stadium. The Reds went behind early on in Italy. Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side remain top of Group F on seven points. 

Here are five things we learnt:

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t trust his squad

On a number of occasions, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has claimed that he trusts his squad. However, this is hard to believe at the moment. Alex Telles was left out against Atalanta, although Luke Shaw is in poor form this season. The Brazilian sparked the comeback on matchday two against Villarreal.

Donny van de Beek is another player who has only made a handful of appearances this season. The Dutchman, who seems destined to be on the way out in the January transfer window, made a difference on the time he was on the pitch.

Solskjaer seems to have his favourites, bringing on Mason Greenwood early in the game after Raphael Varane went off due to injury. Jadon Sancho came on in the 87thminute along with Van De Beek. 

Manchester United faced a very poor Spurs side and facing Atalanta showed

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserved credit at the weekend for his system change that gave United the three points against Tottenham. Nevertheless, the Reds faced a poor Spurs side, leading to Nuno Espiríto Santo losing his job. 

The back five Solskjaer opted for again in Bergamo didn’t work against an Atalanta side who lined up in a 5-3-2 system of their own. Solskjaer and his coaching staff need to make huge systematic changes for the Manchester derby on Saturday with United failing to create a real number of chances. Against Gasperini’s side, United found it difficult in retaining the ball and faced a familiar problem; breaking down a side that sat-back.

Paul Pogba isn’t worth £400,000-a-week

Paul Pogba is an excellent, technically gifted footballer. The problem is, The Frenchman doesn’t seem to fit into the way Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to play. Yes, there are questions regarding the manager’s own future, but Paul Pogba shouldn’t get a new bumper deal.

The 28-year-old struggled massively at the Gewiss Stadium in the 69 minutes that he played. Pogba was overran and dispossessed a number of times although te entire side was poor against Atalanta and have been all season. However, on current form, Paul Pogba doesn’t deserve £400,000-a-week with the midfielder struggling to do basic defensive work and looked exposed in Italy although United played with a back five. 

Manchester United need to stop conceding goals

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the helm, it looks very difficult to call that Manchester United will win anything significant. Despite that, clean sheets build a strong mentality within a squad. United look awful in turnovers, and regularly concede goals in this manner. Defenders are often dragged out of positions with the press looking disjointed every single time. 

It’s quite clear to see that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are very poorly coached. The truth is, United look well-off Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and even Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.

Cristiano Ronaldo really is carrying this Manchester United side on his back

On a night where Manchester United looked lost again, Cristiano Ronaldo pulled it out of the bag. The Portuguese international now has five goals in four Champions League games this season. Ronaldo’s two goals against La Dea takes his tally to 138 Champions League goals.

Without the 36-year-old, United would be bottom of Group F on two points. Of course, scoring late goals is wonderful. Though a Manchester United side with this amount of quality across the squad shouldn’t need Cristiano Ronaldo’s last-gasp goals in this stage of the competition. Respectfully, it’s bemusing how United have struggled against Young Boys, Villarreal and Atalanta.

Author: Aadam Haladh