Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek play crucial role in Manchester United comeback

Cristiano Ronaldo rightly deserves the credit for Manchester United’s comeback draw against Atalanta.

But the late surge for the equaliser was inspired by two late substitutes.

In what felt like a final throw of the dice from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he threw on Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek in the 86th minute.

It barely seemed fair to call on them to try and change the game so late.

Sancho had not had any minutes for a fortnight, and this was Van de Beek’s first kick since September.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

They did themselves proud

Even in very limited game time, Sancho and Van de Beek did themselves proud with their contribution.

Sancho touched the ball just five times and Van de Beek three, and yet even in those very brief moments they had an effect.

Both players were direct, helped United keep possession, and in Van de Beek’s case, nearly scored a late winner.

The Dutchman in particular looked highly motivated, like he would have done anything and everything possible to make an impact.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not been fair to Van de Beek over the past 12 months, and Sancho has not had the start he had envisioned.

This brief cameo came largely down to United’s desperation, and the ability to use five substitutes.

Solskjaer has a large squad, and he needs to use it more frequently.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Both Van de Beek and Sancho should have given him something to contemplate heading into this weekend’s City game.

With Paul Pogba terrible against Atalanta, Van de Beek was a breath of fresh air.

It was particularly notable United took off Fernandes to get Van de Beek on. Usually the manager is reluctant to ever take the number 18 off.

United need to do more to get him in the side more regularly, because if not, he will seek and exit and nobody could blame him.

Being on the pitch for Ronaldo’s late equaliser will give both players a buzz, and we can only hope this could be a turning point for both of them.

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