We definitely didn’t see that one coming.
Arsene Wenger has highlighted a few “outstanding” performers for Manchester United against Atalanta on Wednesday night, and one in particular is definitely a surprise.
He of course praised Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored the late winner to get all three points for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. He also said Paul Pogba made a difference when he came on, but went out of his way to say that Fred really impressed him in the second half.
— BT Sport (@btsport) October 20, 2021
He referred to Ronaldo as a “champion”, and said that his heading ability is often underrated.
Arsene Wenger praises Fred’s performance
He said: “I told you before the game that Ronaldo is a champion. It’s not a coincidence that he turned up again. It was a wonderful header. We forget many times when we speak about him how good he is in the air.”
Moving on to Fred and Pogba, Wenger said: “Pogba I thought did well. But I would personally highlight the second half of Fred. Fred saved a few crosses in the box, defensively he was outstanding. He worked unbelievably hard in the second half.
“Pogba gave them more power out from deep in the midfield, by creating more dangerous balls. And when Pogba came on, Bruno Fernandes became better. Fernandes had a poor first half, but in the second half he came alive.”
"𝘙𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘥𝘰 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘶𝘱 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯!" 👏
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) October 20, 2021
Manchester United 3-2 Atalanta
While Wenger did highlight Fred, it will definitely be Ronaldo who dominates the headlines for another couple of days.
For the second time in two consecutive Champions League games, the Portuguese striker ensured that Solskjaer’s men are still well in with a chance to get into the knockout stage of the competition.
Next up is the away trip to Atalanta, which United will go into top of the group, despite the fact they were bottom of the group at half-time tonight.