Eni Aluko was critical in her post-match assessment of Manchester United last night because of our over reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo and poor defensive play.
“Chelsea have played with new players, Romelu Lukaku is out, Timo Werner is out, but you look at United and it’s like it’s a one-man band,” she said on BT Sport, as quoted by The Metro.
“What else can Manchester United do to get the results? Cristiano Ronaldo can’t keep bailing them out.
“Defensively they have come up against a striker in Zapata that ran them ragged. Is Manchester United’s backline good enough?
“It looks like they can get torn apart by a good striker.”
The Reds needed another late goal from the Portuguese superstar to secure an important point on the road against Atalanta in the Champions League.
It took the Italians just 12 minutes to score through Josip Ilicic before Ronaldo equalised on the brink of half-time. The swift move to make it 1-1 saw Ronaldo combine with fellow Portugal star Bruno Fernandes.
Colombian striker Duvan Zapata added a twist to the script after the interval as Atalanta went ahead again. It was not the first time since his return to Manchester that Ronaldo was called upon to save the day in Europe for the Reds, with an incredible 92nd minute volley to ruin the night for locals.
Ronaldo did the same in the reverse fixture against Atalanta as United came from 2-0 down to win the match 3-2 at Old Trafford. He also scored a 95th minute winner against Atalanta in United’s second group stage match following the defeat to Young Boys.
A win away to Villarreal in the next Champions League outing would prove enough to secure United’s place in the knockouts.
It’s clear that Cristiano Ronaldo was brought back to Manchester United to score goals.
He’s doing that and people are still complaining, as will be the case on Saturday if we fail to beat Man City.
For the most part, though, I can’t fault the man since his return to Manchester. Ronaldo has been outstanding and is taking us to a new level in Europe.