Cristiano Ronaldo headed the winner nine minutes from time as Manchester United came back from two goals down to record a memorable Champions League triumph against Atalanta at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had been booed off at the break, such was the lack of invention they showed in falling behind to goals from Mario Pasalic and Merih Demiral.
But the jeers turned to cheers as United, roared on by an increasingly frenzied crowd, rallied to complete one of their great European victories.
Marcus Rashford reduced the deficit with an excellent finish eight minutes after the restart before skipper Harry Maguire drove home after being left free at the far post to get on the end of Edinson Cavani’s flick.
But, inevitably, it was Ronaldo who won the game, just as he did three weeks previously against Villarreal.
This time it was with one of his trademark headers as he rose to meet Luke Shaw’s cross and find the bottom corner to send United to the top of Group F.
This was another one of those nights when Solskjaer seemed to pull it out of the bag just as his Old Trafford reign was about to be seriously called into question.
However, the home fans at least made their feelings known before kick-off with a long rendition of ‘Ole’s at the wheel’, before the familiar ‘Ole, Ole, Ole’ chant rang round Old Trafford.
Once the game had started, ‘Who put the ball in the German net’ was heard. That song is in honour of Solskjaer’s most famous goal, the Champions League winner in 1999 that ensures he will always be a hero at the club, no matter how his managerial reign works out.
The problem for Solskjaer is that the managing bit has not been going well at all.
Brave enough to drop Paul Pogba following Saturday’s defeat at Leicester, when the United boss bemoaned his side’s defending at set-pieces and said something had to change, Solskjaer was rewarded by one of the Frenchman’s midfield replacements going missing for the Atalanta opener before his side conceded a second at a corner.
From a position of limited danger, United were suddenly in loads of it, purely because Davide Zappacosta’s overlapping run went completely unchecked as Scott McTominay failed to react. The low cross invited the finish, which Pasalic duly applied from inside the six-yard box.
It was the fifth time in seven home Champions League games under Solskjaer that United had fallen behind.
For the second, Demerai simply wanted it more as he climbed highest at a corner to power in the second, with both Shaw and Maguire ineffective in response.
There had been agitation before the half-time whistle, which brought a lot of boos, before the singing section close to the tunnel offered more positive support, which Solskjaer acknowledged as he made his way towards the dressing rooms.