Manchester United overwhelmed Atalanta on Wednesday night, by a combination of sheer quality and the crowd’s backing.
Opponents Atalanta had played well, surging into a 2-0 half-time lead, although they were slightly fortunate to benefit from some poor United finishing.
United were more ruthless in the second half and eventually clawed it back, winning the game 3-2.
Atalanta’s secret talks
Atalanta reportedly sought advice of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola ahead of the game.
Italian outlet Quotidiano reports: “Gian Piero Gasperini, who in the morning had received a visit to Pep Guardiola’s training ground, for a greeting between old friends and some exchange of mutual advice.”
Guardiola has had mixed success against Solskjaer’s United, but he has won the two key semi-final match-ups which mattered most.
His advice may have worked. Atalanta gave a good account of themselves in the first half.
But defensive injuries counted against the Italians, and the sheer force from United and the attacking options from the bench eventually broke them down.
All the advice in the world from Guardiola could do little about this, with United doing enough to win the game, deservedly so in the end.
Guardiola will get the chance to show his expertise in just over a fortnight’s time.
City visit United on November 6 for another difficult fixture for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, which comes just days after the away trip to Atalanta in the Champions League.
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