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Cristiano Ronaldo Defended Like His Life Depended On It After Scoring Winner Vs Atalanta

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Cristiano Ronaldo Defended Like His Life Depended On It After Scoring Winner Vs Atalanta

Cristiano Ronaldo defended like his life depended on it in the closing stages of the thrilling 3-2 win over Atalanta on Wednesday night.

Ronaldo produced Champions League heroics yet again, heading home the winner nine minutes from time to complete an incredible comeback from United, who had been 2-0 down in the first half.

Image: PA
Image: PA

It was the Portuguese superstar's sixth goal in eight games during his second spell at United and his 137th goal in the Champions League, where he is the competition's top scorer.

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Recently, many fans and pundits alike had criticised Ronaldo for his lack of work-rate and pressing from the font but the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's effort could not be faulted.

Late on in 'squeaky bum time', Ronaldo seriously put himself about as Atalanta chased an equaliser.

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In footage doing the rounds on social media, Ronaldo can be seen sprinting back towards his own goal while Atalanta counter - even ending up covering at left-back on two occasions.

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He made an important front post clearance in the fourth minute of stoppage time when the visitors created a dangerous opening.

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The sublime leaping header from a Luke Shaw was classic Ronaldo but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer loved the other parts of his game, particularly his off the ball work.

Image: PA
Image: PA

"As a centre forward we asked him to run the channels, drop in, press more because we're at home, of course," Solskjaer said post-match.

"We want to get the crowd behind us.

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"Even he was down inside his own six-yard box towards the end defending, you could see him sprinting. He did everything a centre forward should be doing, leading the line and defending.

"If anyone wants to criticise him for work-rate or attitude, just watch this game. Watch how he runs around."

United had won just once in their last five going into this game and you could see how much it meant to Ronaldo at full-time.

He sunk to his knees and tightly clenched both fists in celebration when the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of a pulsating game.

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United, who are now top of Group F, host Liverpool in a huge game in the Premier League on Sunday.

Featured Image Credit: Image: BT Sport

Topics: Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, Atalanta, Champions League

Josh Lawless
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