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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates after scoring their side’s third goal during the UEFA Champions League group F match against Atalanta at Old Trafford on October 20, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo : Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo showed once again why Manchester United paid huge money to bring his services back to Old Trafford this season. On Wednesday night, he led the Red Devils to a stunning 3-2 come-from-behind win over Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League. He scored the match-winner in the 81st minute to complete the comeback for United, who trailed 0-2 at the half-time interval.
It was a critical goal for Ronaldo and the Red Devils, who looked headed for their third straight loss in all competitions. However, Ronaldo’s late goal breathed new life to the Red Devils’ Champions League campaign, with Manchester United now the leaders in Group F with six points through three games.
Ronaldo regains Champions League record in historic win
It was a historic night for Ronaldo, who regained one of his Champions League records from rival Lionel Messi. Ronaldo’s header against Atalanta took his tally of teams scored against in the Champions League to 39, pushing himself back in front of Messi in that department. The Argentine tied Ronaldo’s mark a day before when he scored a brace for PSG against RB Leipzig.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s amazing late winning goal from the stands 🐐🔥 pic.twitter.com/hbzdGy5vlf
— Everything Cristiano (@EverythingCR7_) October 20, 2021
Ronaldo loves playing in Europe’s premier club football competition, scoring a total of 137 goals in the Champions League. Since returning to Manchester United, he has not lost a step, scoring six goals this season, including one each in the Red Devils’ three Champions League games this campaign.
Ronaldo’s heroics would not be possible without the brilliance of both Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire. Rashford opened the scoring for the Red Devils with a fine finish in the 53rd minute to halve Atalanta’s lead to just one goal. Maguire then scored the equalizer in the 75th minute with a right-footed strike inside the box, setting the stage for Ronaldo’s game-winning goal.
Barcelona, Bayern Munich record pivotal wins in Group E
Barcelona kept their Champions League dreams alive with a narrow 1-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv. It was a crucial victory for the Catalan giants, who had lost their first two games in the Champions League this season. Gerard Pique’s match-winner in the 36th minute gave Barcelona the all-important three points. They now trail second-placed Benfica by just one point in Group E heading into Matchday 4.
Bayern Munich moved ever closer to sealing their passage into the next round after crushing Benfica 4-0 on Wednesday. The German champions put on quite a show in the closing stages of their encounter, scoring four goals in the final 20 minutes to destroy Benfica. Leroy Sane scored twice for Bayern, who remain perfect in Group E with nine points through three games.
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