'Unbelievable': Cristiano Ronaldo 'perfection' stuns football world

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Seen here, Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a win for Manchester United in the Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo's moment of magic sealed a dramatic come-from-behind win for Manchester United in the Champions League. Pic: Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo has once again come to Manchester United's rescue after a trademark moment of magic sealed a dramatic come-from-behind win over Atalanta in the Champions League.

United were forced to come from two goals down at home against the Italian side, with Ronaldo capping off the extraordinary win with a towering 81st minute header.

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Goals from Mario Pasalic and Merih Demiral had Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men on course for a fifth defeat in eight games, ramping up the pressure on an already under-fire United manager.

However, United's attacking arsenal blew the Italians away after the break as Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire drew them level before Ronaldo powered home a header nine minutes from time.

Ronaldo also scored a 96th-minute winner against Villarreal in United's previous Champions League game to mask an otherwise unconvincing performance.

It's only the second time that Ronaldo has scored in three successive Champions League matches for United, with the Red Devils going on to lift the trophy in the last season he did so.

Questions will continue to be asked of Solskjaer's ability to get the best out of such a richly talented squad.

But a much-needed win to move to the top of Group F eases the mounting pressure on the Norwegian.

Solskjaer responded to Saturday's 4-2 defeat at Leicester by dropping Jadon Sancho and Paul Pogba.

Rashford was handed his first start of the season after shoulder surgery and should have scored after just three minutes when he fired wide when clean through on goal, although the offside flag was later raised against the England international.

United's major problems, though, have come at the other end as they have now kept one clean sheet in 20 games.

Pictured here, Cristiano Ronaldo roars in delight after Manchester United beat Atalanta in the Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo's winner papered over the cracks that are still evident in United's game. Pic: Getty

Atalanta played through the hosts with ease for the opening goal as Josip Ilicic fed Davide Zappacosta down the right and his low cross was turned home by Pasalic.

Fred was denied an instant equaliser by a brilliant save from Juan Musso before United were easily breached again.

Maguire endured a torrid return from injury against his former club at the weekend and was outjumped by Demiral as the Turkish defender headed home from a corner.

Old Trafford was growing restless, but luckily for United they were up against a defence as suspect as their own.

Fred fired another huge chance wide before Rashford hit the bar with just Musso to beat before the break.

Rashford finally found his range to halve the home side's deficit with a calm finish from Bruno Fernandes' pass eight minutes into the second half.

Scott McTominay then fired against the post and Musso was forced to full stretch to turn a low Ronaldo shot to safety.

Solskjaer unloaded his wealth of attacking options off the bench as Pogba, Sancho and Edinson Cavani were introduced for the final quarter.

But United's awful defending nearly gave them too much of a mountain to climb.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 'perfect' header seals comeback win

Duvan Zapata spun Victor Lindelof with ease and forced David de Gea into a stunning save before the Spaniard parried Ruslan Malinovskyi's follow-up strike over.

It took just two minutes to prove the value of those saves as Maguire hammered home at the back post from Cavani's flick-on.

Fernandes should have completed the comeback when he fired too close to Musso.

But that cleared the way for Ronaldo to provide another fairytale ending as he rose highest to power home Luke Shaw's cross for his sixth goal in nine appearances since returning to the club where he first became a world star.

Maguire described his teammate's winner as the "perfect header" and football fans flooded social media with similar sentiments.

with agencies

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