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Cristiano Ronaldo hailed as Arsene Wenger picks out unlikely Man Utd hero


Arsene Wenger picked out Cristiano Ronaldo and a more unlikely star in his analysis of Manchester United’s epic 3-2 comeback win against Atalanta in the Champions League

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Manchester United v Atalanta Match in Pictures

Cristiano Ronaldo has been hailed by Arsene Wenger as the former Arsenal manager picked out an unlikely hero in Manchester United ‘s Champions League win against Atalanta.

The Red Devils claimed a 3-2 victory over the Serie A side and Ronaldo popped up with the winning goal in the 81st minute.

Wenger was full of praise for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner post-match, although the Frenchman made sure to give a special mention to a player less used to the plaudits: grafting midfielder Fred.

“I told you before the game that Ronaldo is a champion, and we see that is never by coincidence,” the 71-year-old, who spent 22 years managing in the Premier League, said on beIN Sport.








Wenger had praise for Ronaldo and an unlikely Man Utd hero
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Image:

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.”

It was then when Wenger particularly made note of Ronaldo’s less glamorous team-mate’s display by saying: “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.”

Statistically, the Brazil international’s two tackles were a game high, while he managed to complete 80% of his passes, five of which were accurate long balls.





Wenger went on to say: “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.”

The Portuguese certainly did get into gear during the second period, providing the crosses for both Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire ‘s goals as United levelled the scores.

Atalanta had gone ahead in the opening 29 minutes through Mario Pasalic and Merih Demiral, seeing them head into half-time with a 2-0 led.

Did Fred perform as well as Wenger says? Comment your thoughts below.




But Old Trafford roared Solskjaer and co to yet another comeback as they rose from bottom to top of Group F within the rollercoaster match.

Maguire, who scored the equaliser with a fine finish of his own, was in agreement with Wenger in his assessment of match-winner Ronaldo.

“I had eyes on it all the way, I was right behind him. His leap, his timing – it was a perfect header,” the England defender told BT Sport ‘s Des Kelly.

“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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