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Solskjaer: “No one can question the character of these players.”

FT: Atalanta 2-2 Man Utd

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace to earn Manchester United a valuable point against Atalanta in the Champions League.

Solskjaer hails Man Utd's comback [Getty]
Solskjaer hails Man Utd's comback [Getty]

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer heaped praise on his players after a late goal from Cristiano Ronaldo helped Manchester United seal a 2-2 draw against Atalanta in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The 48-year-old said ‘no one can question the character of these players, because they don't ever give up and give in.’

The Red Devils nearly broke the deadlock early in the match as a deflected Scott McTominay shot hit the base of the post.

With only 11 minutes into the tie, Atalanta opened the scoring via Josip Ilicic, whose strike went under the body of goalkeeper David de Gea into the net.

Duvan Zapata could have doubled the lead moments later, but Eric Bailly came to the rescue as he blocked the shot.

And in added-on time in the first half, following a brilliant combination play from Mason Greenwood, Ronaldo, and Bruno Fernandes, the former Real Madrid star registered his fourth Champions League goal of the 2021-22 season.

In the second half, Atalanta were in control of the game and took the lead for the second time in the 55th minute when Zapata ran free and chipped the ball over De Gea. The goal was initially cancelled for off-side but following a VAR check, the decision was overturned.

United huffed and puffed and it looked as if they were heading for a defeat, only for Ronaldo to snatch a last-gasp equaliser that sent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to the top of the Group F with two games left to play.

'Ronaldo is just incredible'

United boss Solskjaer told BT Sport: "It is a tight game, flowed both ways, their two goals were very tight and we thought the first was offside, I thought he interfered with David de Gea's view but Cristiano (Ronaldo) is just incredible if there is anyone you want a chance to fall to and a difficult chance, it is just incredible...

"That is football, no one can question the character of these players, because they don't ever give up and give in, they just keep going. We had to make changes and they worked.

"The goal was a proper team goal, great quality on the passing, four or five or six passes before that little exchange as well.

"You don't plan to concede a goal, I thought it was offside, usually he would save that one. The atmosphere was electric, very physical, and hard to play against."

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