Maguire: The energy was incredible

Wednesday 20 October 2021 23:29

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has credited our fans for inspiring the 3-2 comeback against Atalanta on a “special night” at Old Trafford.

The Reds went off at half-time trailing 2-0 to the Italian outfit, but the players were met with plenty of encouragement as they made their way into the tunnel.

Speaking to MUTV and BT Sport, skipper Maguire said the supporters and the atmosphere they created only intensified as the second half developed.

"We got cheered and clapped off at half-time from these fans, so they made a big difference," he said. "They gave us that energy, they gave us that belief and we got the result that they deserve."

Watch our post-match interview with Maguire.

The captain added: “Tonight was a special night in terms of the togetherness, the spirit, the fight that we showed in the second half to keep believing and to keep pushing and like I said, the fans gave us that.

“The energy we felt from the fans in the second half was incredible.”

Marcus Rashford, making his first start of the season following injury, set things in motion by getting one back eight minutes after the break with a sweet strike which he placed into the bottom corner.

It was then Maguire’s turn to find the net for his first ever Champions League goal, levelling the scores with an instinctive first-time right-footed finish at the back post in front of the Stretford End.

“The first of many I hope,” said Harry. “It’s normally with my head, I’ve had a lot of chances with my head this year and I haven’t managed to put one away.

“It’s my first goal of the season for the club and my first goal in the Champions League, so it’s a proud moment for myself and my family who was up there watching.

“I didn’t really have time to celebrate, I was thinking more about getting the ball back and going on to get the victory."

The turnaround was then completed when Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a second successive winner for the Reds in Europe with a towering header that Maguire had a great view of. 

“I had eyes on it all the way, I was right behind him. His leap, his timing – it was a perfect header.

“I was right behind it, I’ve seen it go right in the corner and I knew his timing, it’s always there – you see it day in, day out in training and the goals that he’s scored throughout his career.

“He’s come up with a massive goal for us again in the Champions League.”

90 in 20: United 3 Atalanta 2 Video

90 in 20: United 3 Atalanta 2

Watch 20 minutes of the very best action from our 3-2 win over Atalanta on matchday three...

Despite the gloriously dramatic end to the evening, the 28-year-old noted that the two early goals conceded show there is room for improvement and he acknowledged that the Reds have still only kept one clean sheet so far this term.

“Of course that’s not good enough, that’s not good enough for this club,” said Maguire. “We know we’re working hard, we’re working hard on a formula to be a lot more solid.

“I think in the last three or four games we’ve conceded [from] far too many set plays. I think that’s four in the last four games now so that’s something we need to sharpen up on because our start of the season was really good for defending those. It’s fine margins but we’ve got to do better, that’s not good enough for our club.”