The Italians opened the scoring in the 12th minute when David de Gea let Josip Ilicic’s tame shot sneak under him – and Lineker wasn’t impressed.
The Match of the Day host tweeted: “United are back… in the mire.”
He later tweeted: “Great goal from Man Utd. Beautiful football and comfortably put away by the irrepressible Ronaldo.”
Former United captain Rio Ferdinand also praised Ronaldo’s goal, telling BT Sport: “Wow. What more can you say about this guy?
“He just turns up the team’s in need and he’s there. Fernandes, the ball into Ronaldo and when it gets to greenwood it zips up. There he is the man that does it in his sleep.”
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Fellow Red Devils legend Paul Scholes added: “The back heel from Fernandes is the best part it sends the keeper to the left and opens the gap for Cristiano.
“That first touch was brilliant, sets himself, composes himself and buries it.”
And the plaudits for Ronaldo weren’t finished there. The United icon went on to score a second equaliser with seconds remaining in the game to give his team a priceless point.
Lineker tweeted after Ronaldo’s second goal: “He’s unbelievable. Cristiano has done it again. One of the greatest finishers in the history of football. Extraordinary player.”
Atalanta restored their lead in the 56th minute when Duvan Zapata’s goal was given after a lengthy VAR review – and Lineker wasn’t impressed with lengthy decision either.
He tweeted: “Zapata has a shoe onside and scores. Utterly c***, though, that everyone is kept in the dark with VAR. No communication, no replays, no nothing. Hopelessly disrespectful to all.”
Ronaldo’s late goal saved United’s Champions League hopes, helping them stay top off the Group F ahead of Villarreal with two games to go.
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Discussing Atalanta’s first goal, Scholes added: “Probably not great again, sloppy at times Bailey gets caught and the keeper could do better but there were a lot of mistakes in that first half.
“Paul Pogba won’t be enthralled with his performance and has given the ball away a lot and that goal has kept him on the for the second half. The keeper should save that.”
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