Cristiano Ronaldo’s last gasp draw at Atalanta left ‘great critic’ Paul Merson speechless as he admits that ‘he was not sure he would return to Man United … but Arsenal legend warns that the tie is’ just cover the cracks’
- Cristiano Ronaldo shot home twice to seal a point for Man United in Atalanta
- Paul Merson described Cristiano Ronaldo’s two goals as ‘phenomenal’
- Former Arsenal star Merson claimed he was ‘speechless’ after Ronaldo’s display
- But Merson thinks Ronaldo’s prowess is just ‘covering the cracks’
Paul Merson admitted he was speechless after Cristiano Ronaldo’s impressive performance for Manchester United in the Champions League group win over Atalanta on Tuesday night.
After watching the Portuguese star shoot two home to almost single-handedly save United from defeat to Atalanta, Merson claimed that Ronaldo’s volley in the last minute to secure a 2-2 draw for United was’ one of the best results of all time. ‘ but he cautioned that the result is ‘just another Polyfilla’.
While Merson was eager to sing Ronaldo’s praise, the Arsenal legend admitted that he was previously a ‘huge critic’ who was unsure about the 36-year-old’s return to Manchester.
The tie in the last gasp of Cristiano Ronaldo in Atalanta left the ‘great critic’ Paul Merson speechless
Atalanta would have secured victory over the Premier League giants had it not been for Ronaldo
“I was one of the great critics. I was one who wasn’t sure he would come back, ” he said. Sky sports.
But if you give him chances, he will score goals. Thirty-six or 46, it doesn’t matter, it will end. ‘
Also expert Rio Ferdinand insisted that Ronaldo’s final product justifies his value to United, while Merson added: ‘If you took away his two goals tonight, it’s a two out of 10. But his two goals are phenomenal and I don’t have any. words.
Merson has admitted that he was ‘speechless’ after Ronaldo’s impressive performance
“As long as you have Ronaldo on the field, you have a chance. They hadn’t seemed to score in a month of Sundays and then he goes and does what he’s done. ‘
At the end of each half, it looked like Atalanta had edged the Red Devils with a 1-0 lead just before halftime and 2-1 up with 90 minutes on the clock.
But two late stoppage time goals from Ronaldo at the end of each half showed just how impressive the United striker is under pressure, but Merson fears his heroic ability to win the game is simply a saving grace for the underperforming team.
“They have a draw and they are going to qualify,” Merson said. “It’s another Polyfilla, it just covers the cracks, but it’s a result.”
United fought for large parts and Paul Pogba failed to make an impact and was substituted.
Merson feels that the rest of the United contingent did not use their star Ronaldo and said the forward “just did not get the service.”
United’s lineup was defensively outclassed and visibly mediocre compared to Serie A’s Atalanta for most of the match. World Cup winner Paul Pogba returned to the starting lineup but was a substitute in the 69th minute after failing to make an impact.
The draw against Atalanta sees United at the top of Group F and it seems likely that they will qualify for the next round of the Champions League.
The Red Devils will look to maximize Ronaldo’s potential when they face fierce rivals Manchester City in the derby on Saturday at 12.30pm.