How did Atalanta fare ahead of Champions League clash against United?
Manchester United head into their second Champions League clash against Atalanta with cause for optimism following an emphatic response to last weekend’s drubbing, with victory against Tottenham.
In a game which posed a lot of questions about whether his players would fight for him, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted with the response following last Sunday’s inexplicable performance against Liverpool.
However, the 3-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was just the first game in a crunch week for Solskjaer’s men.
Next up for the Red Devils is a trip to Atalanta, where three points could put us in command of Group F with just two group games to follow.
How have Atalanta fared since facing United?
Unlike United, Atalanta have played an additional game since the dramatic 3-2 game at Old Trafford only 11 days ago.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side have won one and drawn two since Cristiano Ronaldo’s winner at the Theatre of Dreams.
They drew 1-1 at home against Udinese before going to Sampdoria and winning 3-1. Yesterday they drew 2-2 at home to Lazio thanks to a last-minute equaliser from Marten de Roon.
Similar to Solskjaer’ side, Atalanta have had their troubles defensively and have only managed two Serie A clean sheets themselves, the last of which came in their fourth league game, they have played seven since.
Atalanta have fared a lot better away from home this season. Away from home they are unbeaten domestically with four wins and one draw, to last season’s champions Inter Milan, from five games.
But at the Gewiss Stadium, Gasperini’s team have won once, drawn three times and lost twice. Atalanta currently sit fifth in Serie A with 19 points from 11 games.
Following United’s clinical performance against Nuno Espirito Santo’s Tottenham, which was no doubt the most complete display of the season, we should fancy our chances of coming away from Italy with all three points.
With the Bergamo-based club likely to deploy their 3-4-3 formation again, Solskjaer could stick with the 3-5-2 formation he used to devastating effect against Tottenham to marry up with Gasperini’s team.