DAVID DE GEA gifted Atalanta the lead in Manchester United’s crunch Champions League clash in Italy after an horrific howler.
After sneaking all three points in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford a fortnight ago after a second-half turnaround, United knew a win would put them within touching distance of the last-16.
But with Villarreal hot on their heels, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Co couldn’t afford to lose.
Duvan Zapata picked up a pass – fortuitously deflected off Scott McTominay – before cutting the ball back to Josip Ilicic on the edge of the box.
The Slovenian forward thumped the ball first time with his left foot.
While powerful, the effort was straight at De Gea for what should have been a comfortable save.
But the Spaniard somehow allowed the ball to squeeze underneath him, deflecting off his elbow and into the back of the net.
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN NEW CUSTOMER DEALS
If United lose in Bergamo, they will be overtaken by Atalanta, with their Italian rivals moving one point ahead in Group F with seven.
Worst yet, Villarreal – who beat United in last season’s Europa League final – can go second with a win over Young Boys.
That would leave Solskjaer’s squad in danger of dropping into Europe’s second tier yet again.
MORE TO FOLLOW…
⚽ Read our Manchester United live blog for the latest news and transfer gossip from Old Trafford