Wenger hails unlikely ‘outstanding’ star in Man Utd win

Date published: Thursday 21st October 2021 11:16 - Will Ford

Arsene Wenger Arsenal

Arsene Wenger hailed “champion” Cristiano Ronaldo after his late winner for Manchester United, but picked out an unlikely hero in their victory over Atalanta.

United came from 2-0 down to claim a dramatic victory over the Serie A side at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

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Wenger lauded Ronaldo for his “wonderful header” in the 81st minute and praised the impact from the bench of Paul Pogba, but gave special mention to Fred.

“I told you before the game that Ronaldo is a champion, and we see that is never by coincidence,” Wenger said on beIN Sport.

“He turned up again with a wonderful header, and we forget many times when we speak about him how good he is in the air.”

“The changes made the difference – [Paul] Pogba, I thought, did well.

“I would personally highlight the second half for Fred.

“Fred saved a few crosses in the box, defensively outstanding and he worked unbelievably hard in the second half.”

“Pogba gave more power out from deep midfield by creating more dangerous balls.

“And when Pogba came on, [Bruno] Fernandes became better. Fernandes had a poor first half and in the second half he came alive.”

Fernandes provided a wonderful assist for Marcus Rashford, before crossing for Harry Maguire to level the scores.

Mario Pasalic and Merih Demiral had given Atalanta a 2-0 half-time lead, with the United fans booing their side off a the break.

But the fans and players rallied in the second period, with Ronaldo completing a stunning comeback.

Maguire joined Wenger in praising Ronaldo in his post-match interview.

“I had eyes on it all the way, I was right behind him. His leap, his timing – it was a perfect header,” Maguire told BT Sport.

“I was right behind it, I’ve seen it go right in the corner and I knew his timing, it’s always there – you see it day in, day out in training and the goals that he’s scored throughout his career.

“He’s come up with a massive goal for us again in the Champions League.”


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