Man Utd fans snap up Ronaldo shirts at Old Trafford
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Eric Bailly didn’t want to let go of Cristiano Ronaldo following his heroics for Manchester United against Atalanta on Tuesday night. The Portugal international scored twice to earn a draw for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. And his team-mate was certainly thrilled.
United were poor against Atalanta, who controlled the majority of the game in Italy.
But Ronaldo came to their aid to earn a point, with the veteran scoring two equalisers on the night.
The Portugal international’s first came just before the interval, with the forward converting after good work from Bruno Fernandes.
And Ronaldo earned a draw for Solskjaer’s team in the closing stages with a sublime volley following a pass from Mason Greenwood.
United players were ecstatic with the Portugal international during the celebrations in stoppage time, with the 36-year-old keeping their hopes of glory in the competition alive.
And Bailly was seen holding Ronaldo tight after the goal.
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The Ivory Coast international had the veteran in a big embrace and, while the rest of his team-mates started to walk towards their own half again, Bailly wouldn’t let Ronaldo leave.
Ronaldo laughed at the enthusiasm showed by United’s No 3, who actually enjoyed a fine evening of his own.
Bailly was defensively solid for the Red Devils, upstaging club captain Harry Maguire in the process.
And both players have been praised by Luke Shaw, who feels they were key as United earned a point.
“He was unbelievable,” Shaw said of Bailly.
“He hasn’t had many chances and of course it’s tough.
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“It’s not easy for someone not to play for that long and then to come into a game like this, especially with how they [Atalanta] press and at their home place [too] it’s a very difficult game but he was incredible.
“A big ‘well done’ to him for the way he’s been over the last few months.
“He’s trained hard, trained well and patiently waited for his chance and I think he took it tonight really well.
“That’s the level now for him that he needs to show day in, day out and of course in the next game.”
And, on Ronaldo, Shaw added: “It was a very difficult game.
“It’s of course not what we wanted, we wanted three points. That was the main focus, to win the game, take the three points.
“But the situation we were in, 2-1 down, last sort of five minutes, I think there’s probably only one person you want the ball to fall to and luckily it was him [Ronaldo]. He saved us again with a crucial goal.
“You see day in, day out the way he is, the way he conducts himself. He wants to win.
“Before the game, he’s always speaking, encouraging everyone and you know he’s going to be there.
“You know he’s a very important player, he has been for many years now and he’s always in the right place at the right time.
“Not just tonight, he’s done it since he’s been here really.
“It’s incredible to have someone like that in your team when you need them most.”
Shaw also feels United need to ‘take control of the group’ following the draw.
“We obviously learnt from last year really, we need to. We don’t want to be in that situation again,” he said.
“We need to take charge [in the group], we need that confidence and belief that we can and should be doing it.
“And of course, we know that we still need to improve,” he added.
“We know that just because we beat Spurs 3-0 and we got an okay point out here we can’t just relax and get comfortable.
“We need to keep improving. We know that as a team and there’s much more to come with the talent we have in this squad. So, we need to keep focused, keep improving and getting better and better.”
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