Trailing to an early Josip Ilicic effort, the Red Devils fought back as Ronaldo met Bruno Fernandes’ backheel to drill home shortly before the interval.
However, Duvan Zapata restored Atalanta’s advantage and the points appeared destined for Bergamo until Ronaldo rifled in a volley from outside the box with only minutes to spare.
De Gea 5.5; Bailly 7, Varane 5.5 (’38 Greenwood 6.5), Maguire 5.5; Wan-Bissaka 5.5, McTominay 6 (’88 Sancho N/A), Pogba 5.5 (’68 Matic 6), Fernandes 6.5 (’87 Van de Beek N/A), Shaw 6; Cristiano Ronaldo 8, Rashford 6 (’68 Cavani 6.5)
Player of the match: Cristiano Ronaldo
Despite some excellent defensive work by Eric Bailly, there can only be one candidate. Upon his return to Italy following his summer move from Juventus, Ronaldo showed his class with two well-taken goals, the second of which was a display of technique and accuracy under pressure. Once again, the Portuguese superstar carried a lacklustre Manchester United to a crucial result.