3-2 Atalanta: Man Utd's comeback is typical of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's style

  Manchester United produced a thrilling second-half comeback to beat Atalanta at Old Trafford, but they haven't overcome some of the biggest issues of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's tenure,

At half-time in Manchester United 's Champions League match against Atalanta, some onlookers were beginning to write Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's footballing obituary.

Solskjaer 's team were 2-0 down against their depleted visitors, with Mario Pasalic opening the scoring and Merih Derimal left free to head home a corner.

And yet, when the final whistle blew, United and their manager were back on top thanks to Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and a winner from Cristiano Ronaldo.

At this point, the result will feel like it means more than the performance, but it leaves plenty of questions still unanswered.

It was typical of the Solskjaer era, with individual moments helping United recover after individual limitations put them in trouble to begin with, and that doesn't necessarily bode well.

If the last year or so of Solskjaer's tenure has been characterised by the narrative around him changing from one week to the next, Wednesday night saw it flipped on its head over the course of 90 minutes.

Scott McTominay had a mixed evening for Man Utd against Atalanta

Scott McTominay had a mixed evening for Man Utd against Atalanta

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes was left frustrated by the performance, suggesting on BT Sport that - with a match against Liverpool on the horizon - no one can get too carried away about the club's fortunes.

While Solskjaer was given credit for the big selection decisions he made going into the game, we remain none the wiser about whether those decisions are decidedly better or worse than the alternative, and one would imagine there's only so much longer this can go on.

Plenty of the talk before kick-off surrounded Solskjaer's decision to play a double-pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay, leaving Paul Pogba on the bench.

However, once the dust settled, it could be argued that United won despite this decision and not because of it, with Atalanta creating plenty of chances throughout the game.

Even then, though, the introduction of Pogba itself wasn't the game-changing moment, with the Frenchman only entering after a moment of genius from Bruno Fernandes for Rashford's goal had given the hosts hope and made the crowd believe a comeback was possible.

If a supposedly bold tactical change has no material effect, what does that say about how the squad is being used?

As United prepare to face Liverpool, then, they do so without having learned anything concrete about what might work and what might not.

Yes, they scored three goals, but those goals came against a team missing key defenders from the start, losing another partway through the game, and playing 90 minutes with a midfielder at centre-back.

Playing every week against a depleted defence isn't just something you can decide to do; and even then, United fell short last season against a Liverpool side with back-ups Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams starting the game.

What's more, this is far from the first time we've seen United put in this kind of performance, and it's not even the first time this season..

Sometimes it has resulted in defeat, as with the trip to Leicester last weekend.

On other occasions - such as the win over Villarreal - some individual quality has seen them prevail despite everything which has come before.



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