CRISTIANO RONALDO was hailed as Manchester United’s Michael Jordan after another slam dunk on Atalanta.
Ronaldo saved United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s skin again with a double – including an incredible injury-time equaliser.
And Solskjaer claimed Ronaldo does for the Red Devils what basketball legend Jordan did for the Chicago Bulls, as demonstrated in the Netflix docuseries The Last Dance.
Solskjaer declared: “You play for Manchester United or the Chicago Bulls because you can come up with these moments.
“I’m sure the Chicago Bulls didn’t mind having Michael Jordan. And that’s what Cristiano is like for us.
“If there is anyone you want a chance to fall to in the last minute – and a difficult chance – then it’s Cristiano. That technique on the volley is just incredible.
“We all have roles and responsibilities and for us he’s a leader and scores goals. He’s getting better and better.”
The Portuguese superstar, 36, struck at the end of each half in Bergamo to salvage a priceless point to keep United top of Group F.
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His latest heroics came after Saturday’s similar wonder volley against Spurs and late winners against the Italian side and Villareal earlier in the group stage.
Ronaldo has won five of United’s seven points and now has nine goals in 11 since he returned to United.
He said: “We believed until the end and I helped my team to get one point so I am so happy.
“We never give up and it is a good result for us. We were a little bit lucky in the end that I scored a goal but this is football.
“We have to adapt with each other, but it will take time. We have time to improve and to be better.”
The attitude to never give in was there
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The draw means United stay top of their group ahead of their trip to Villarreal in three weeks’ time.
Solskjaer said: “The point here tonight is very important, win your home games and get a result or two away, you go through. The attitude to never give in was there.”
It came at a cost though as defensive linchpin Raphael Varane went off in the first half with a hamstring problem in only his second game back from injury.
Solskjaer said: “He felt his hamstring so of course we couldn’t take any risks. That’s unfortunate because Rafa has been such a calming influence.
“We have to look at him on Wednesday. It doesn’t look good but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
Atalanta threw away a two-goal lead and lost to a Ronaldo winner at Old Trafford last month.
Once again they ended the night frustrated by the Portuguese after twice taking the lead – meaning they now slip to third in the group.
Asked how disappointed he was, coach Gian Piero Gasperini said: “On a scale of 1 to 100, I’d say 1000.
“We believed we could do it and it looked like they were all out of puff but we came up against an incredible player tonight.
“We really deserved to win more than ever but we need to accept the result.”
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