Mike Phelan hails ‘magnificent’ Manchester United fans after thrilling Cristiano Ronaldo winner

Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has praised the Old Trafford crowd for being the “12th man” during their dramatic comeback to beat Atalanta 3-2.

It was another momentous night under the lights in the Theatre of Dreams as Marcus Rashford clawed the game back into their reach, Harry Maguire fired level before Cristiano Ronaldo sent the crowd into pandemonium with a late headed winner.

The win took United top of Group F, diminishing any early campaign jitters in Europe after they were stunned by Young Boys in injury time of their opening group game thanks to Jesse Lingard’s slack back pass.

Ronaldo’s late header came as a welcome confidence boost going into the massive test on Sunday as they lock horns with rivals Liverpool once again.

Phelan is in his second spell as second in command, current as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s assistant, after enjoying his spell as right-hand man to Sir Alex Ferguson between 2008 to 2013.

He praised the 72,000 in attendance and thanked them for their support, tweeting: “Another fantastic @ChampionsLeague evening at Old Trafford last night.

“Magnificent 12th man as we kicked into the Stretford End second half. We really do appreciate that roar driving us on. See you all again Sunday.”

They will go into the match with Jurgen Klopp’s side buoyed by the comeback but will face the stern test of the German’s side who also travel to Old Trafford in high spirits.

Who makes it into your combined Liverpool and Manchester United XI?

Mohamed Salah continues to steal the headlines for his jaw-dropping individual efforts and will fancy their chances after an impressive 5-0 win over Watford last week before overcoming 10-man Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Maguire marked his Streford End return with a goal but looks set to be without defensive partner Raphael Varane who misses out after suffering a groin injury whilst on international duty with France.

Last time the two met, Liverpool went back to Anfield with the three points thanks to a 4-2 win but will face a different prospect as fans flock back to Old Trafford for the fixture for the first time since October 2019.

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