Manchester United are back in action in the Champions League looking to take a big step towards the last 16 by securing back-to-back wins in Europe.
The Red Devils welcome Atalanta, with the Italians topping Group F on four points, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side tied for third with Young Boys and just one point behind, with Villarreal bottom on one point.
Solskjaer is under intense pressure following the defeat at Leicester to dent United’s title hopes, while Atalanta arrive at Old Trafford in good form having defeated Empoli 4-1, leaving them sixth in Serie A and a point outside the top four. But the Norwegian insists United can remain on course for the round of 16 with another win tonight following late drama through Cristiano Ronaldo’s winner to earn three points against Villarreal.
“As you do every time you lose a game of football you quickly evaluate and look at what went wrong, and of course you’ve got admit that a few things went wrong,” said the United boss. “Then you have to focus on the next game and how to correct what we haven’t been good enough at. The focus has been good. The minds have been on this game, it’s a chance to make up for the bad start we had in the group with the Young Boys defeat. If you go into halfway point in the group with two home wins then you’re on the way.”
Follow live updates from Old Trafford as the Red Devils look to kick-start their Champions League campaign:
United arrive at Old Trafford
Manchester United have arrived at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a couple of big changes to his team. He’s dropped Paul Pogba and returned to the Fred/McTominay midfield partnership. Will these changes work out for him tonight?
Michael Jones20 October 2021 19:13
Rashford on Atalanta
More from Marcus Rashford who also spoke about what he’s expecting from tonight’s opponents.
Atalanta come into the game on the back of a 4-1 win over Empoli in Serie A. They’re in good form and have are unbeaten in the Champions League this season.
Michael Jones20 October 2021 19:10
Rashford on winning trophies
Marcus Rashford spoke in a press conference yesterday about Manchester United’s desire to win trophies and about how they need to come up with a way to challenge more. He said:
Michael Jones20 October 2021 19:05
Man Utd’s Champions League campaign
Manchester United are entering a tough run of fixtures that sees them play Atalanta twice in the Champions League and Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City in the Premier League over the next three weeks.
The results from these games could have a huge bearing on United’s season with the prospect of getting knocked out of the Champions League a real possibility if they lose twice to Atalanta.
Three points this evening may be enough to send them to the top of Group F and ease the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of a clash with Liverpool this weekend.
Michael Jones20 October 2021 19:01
Manchester United going ‘back to basics’ after Leicester defeat, Marcus Rashford reveals
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looked set to escape from the King Power Stadium with a fortuitous point after the forward came off the bench to score on his first appearance since summer shoulder surgery.
Michael Jones20 October 2021 18:57
Team changes – Man Utd
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes three changes to the starting XI that lost to Leicester City in the Premier League at the weekend.
Paul Pogba drops to the bench as does his midfield partner for that game Nemanja Matic with Solskjaer electing for a midfield of Scott McTominay and Fred.
Marcus Rashford also makes his first start since recovering from injury. He scored as a substitute against Leicester but tonight he replaces Jadon Sancho in the team.
Michael Jones20 October 2021 18:53
Line-ups – Man Utd vs Atalanta
Here’s the Manchester United starting XI:
Man Utd: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo
Atalanta XI: Musso, Maehle, Palomino, Koopmeiners, Muriel, Freuler, De Roon, Demiral, Ilicic, Zappacosta, Pasalic
Michael Jones20 October 2021 18:46
Group F standings
Man Utd head into the game sitting third in the group. They’ve had two entertaining encounters so far in the Champions League, losing to Young Boys on Matchday 1 thanks to a 95th minute winner from Theoson Siebatcheu before defeating Villarreal with a 95th minute winner of their own last time out.
Atalanta top Group F after two games. On Matchday 1 they drew 2-2 with Villarreal after Robin Gosens scored in the 83rd minute to secure a point. Last time out the Italian side picked up three points with a 1-0 victory over Young Boys to put them at the top of the group.
Michael Jones20 October 2021 18:44
Early team news – Man Utd vs Atalanta
Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial are absent for Man Utd due to injury but Edinson Cavani and Fred could return after missing the defeat to Leicester City at the weekend.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also available again after serving a one-match ban.
Michael Jones20 October 2021 18:36
Manchester United vs Atalanta live updates
Welcome to the Independent’s live coverage of the Champions League group stage clash between Manchester United and Atalanta.
The Old Trafford side are hoping to bounce back to form after their weekend humbling by Leicester City – and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has work to do to continue to show he’s the right man for the job with the Red Devils. Questions are again being asked of him after a string of poor performances, which include the last European outing against Villarreal – though they did snatch a late win there, at least. That leaves United second in the group, a point behind leaders Atalanta and level with Young Boys – while Villarreal are bottom with just the one point.
Karl Matchett20 October 2021 17:06