Milan are on the brink of an early Champions League exit after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Porto.

Luis Diaz scored the winning goal when these sides met two weeks ago and fired Porto into an early lead in this latest Group B encounter at San Siro.

Evanilson missed a glorious chance to double the Primeira Liga leaders' advantage and that proved costly when Chancel Mbemba comically found the back of his own net.

But Milan could not find a winner and now require Liverpool to avoid defeat against Atletico Madrid later on Wednesday if they are to avoid elimination with two games to play.

Marko Grujic was a late replacement for the injured Mateus Uribe's in Porto's line-up and the midfielder played a big part in the visitors' opener, dispossessing Ismael Bennacer and playing in Diaz, who calmly slid the ball past Ciprian Tatarusanu.

At five minutes and two seconds, that was the second-fastest goal Milan had conceded at home in the competition – after Jari Litmanen for Ajax in 1994 – and the hosts could only muster a saved Olivier Giroud attempt in response before half-time.

Porto went close to moving further in front when Pepe flicked on a free-kick and Evanilson clipped the top of the crossbar with a header from close range.

Six minutes after that squandered opportunity, Giroud's parried shot was turned back across the face of goal by substitute Pierre Kalulu and poked over the line by Porto defender Mbemba under no real pressure.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was introduced from the bench and thought he had snatched a late winner, only for the offside flag to quickly go up as Stefano Pioli's men failed to find the winning goal they desperately required.

Karim Benzema's double propelled Real Madrid to a 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk as they at least temporarily moved top of Champions League Group D.

A woeful defensive error from Shakhtar enabled Benzema to give Madrid the lead in the 14th minute, Los Blancos becoming the first team to reach 1,000 Champions League/European Cup goals.

Shakhtar responded superbly and levelled matters when Fernando powered home their first goal of the group stage.

Yet Madrid were much improved in the second half, and predictably it was Benzema who provided the decisive touch after wonderful build-up play from Vinicius Junior and Casemiro.

Luka Modric could have given Madrid the lead in the fifth minute as he was played in on goal at the end of a well-worked move only to be thwarted by a superb save by Anatolii Trubin.

Alan Patrick offered an early glimpse of Shakhtar's threat when he hit the post with a long-range drive, but the visitors then gifted Madrid their landmark goal in bemusing fashion.

Trubin played a short pass out to Marlon Santos, only for the centre-back to immediately cede possession to Vinicius, who teed up Benzema for a simple tap-in.

Modric was again thwarted by Trubin before Fernando was unfortunate to see an effort deflected wide as Shakhtar continued to pose Madrid problems.

Fernando got the equaliser Shakhtar's response to the goal deserved, lashing a volley beyond Thibaut Courtois from Patrick's chest down, and it needed a fine save from the Belgium international to prevent the same pair from combining to put the visitors ahead before half-time.

But Shakhtar were left to rue their earlier profligacy as Vinicius and Casemiro played a silky one-two before the former again supplied the pass for Benzema to secure maximum points for Madrid with his 61st-minute effort.

Real Madrid are used to making Champions League history, and they wrote another chapter in the competition's record books on Wednesday.

Karim Benzema gave them the lead against Shakhtar Donetsk in the 14th minute at the Santiago Bernabeu, tapping in after Marlon Santos gave possession away to Vinicius Junior in his own box.

The goal may not have been one to live long in the memory, but it was a landmark one as it brought up Madrid's 1,000th in the Champions League/European Cup.

Madrid, who have won the competition a record 13 times, are the first team to reach four figures in the Champions League, and Shakhtar's play at the back in the first half suggested they could add to that tally before full-time in the Group D encounter.

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has urged his team-mates not to get carried away despite the 3-0 win over Tottenham and last-gasp equaliser at Atalanta, adamant they are still in a "rut".

United suffered a humiliating 5-0 home defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool in October that briefly looked as though it could cost manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his job.

The club resisted the urge to sack the Norwegian and he oversaw a comprehensive 3-0 win at Tottenham last Saturday in response, his switch to a back three and use of Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo in attack paying dividends.

Ronaldo was again decisive on Tuesday as United twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Atalanta, the Portugal star scoring both goals including a stoppage-time leveller.

The equaliser represented a seismic shift in United's Champions League outlook: a defeat would have left them in real danger of being eliminated in their next game away to Villarreal, but they will go to Spain at the top of Group F.

Shaw, who has been among the most criticised United players in recent weeks, says they cannot afford to take the past two results for granted, particularly with Manchester City up next on Saturday.

"We have to keep this attitude," he told beIN SPORTS. "I think just because we beat Spurs 3-0 and we picked up a point here, we can't put our heads down, we can't get comfortable.

"We can't think, 'we've done it now, we've got out of our rut and everything's perfect, everything's fine'. It's not.

"We know we need to dig deep. We know we're not in a good situation, we know what we've been doing hasn't been good enough.

"As a team we've talked about that inside the dressing room, so the games didn't come any easier, so we need to be ready for this one [the City game] because it's at home and it's a big game."

United failed to get out of their group last season and dropped into the Europa League, ultimately losing to Unai Emery's Villarreal in the final.

Shaw believes United are heeding lessons from last season's struggles, which showed just how important it can be to turn a defeat into a draw.

"I think if you look at it, if you look at the group, [this was] an important point," he continued. "Of course, it's not what we wanted, we wanted three points, but I think you have to look at the way the game went and the score towards the end, I think you would take a point in this situation.

"We know we've still got a lot to improve on. You know the results the last couple of games have been a bit better, but we've still got work to do and we're sort of in charge of our own group now."

He added to MUTV: "We obviously learnt from last year really, we needed to. We don't want to be in that situation again."

Paul Scholes claimed Paul Pogba will still be doing "this stupid stuff" at the age of 35 after the Manchester United midfielder disappointed against Atalanta.

Pogba was restored to the starting line-up for Tuesday's Champions League game after missing the 3-0 Premier League win at Tottenham due to suspension.

However, the France international was substituted with 69 minutes gone despite United trailing 2-1 to the home side after a frustrating performance.

Pogba gave up the ball 13 times in the United midfield, including once when he dawdled on the ball on the edge of his own box and had a pass cut out, with Eric Bailly scrambling to deny Duvan Zapata a clear shot at goal.

United in the end salvaged a 2-2 draw, with Cristiano Ronaldo, who had earlier cancelled out Josip Ilicic's opener, blasting home a second in the 91st minute after Zapata's goal looked to have given Atalanta the win.

Pogba leads the assists charts in the 2021-22 Premier League with seven, but his inconsistent form continues to be a concern for United, who could see the World Cup winner leave on a free transfer next year if he does not sign a new contract.

Former United star Scholes thinks Pogba is unlikely to change his ways and will always need someone to keep him focused on the pitch.

"He wasn't great, he was sloppy. I don't think we question the character of the team, but the quality was seriously lacking," Scholes said on BT Sport.

"We know him [Pogba], we've been with him. He needs somebody talking to him all the time. He needs somebody there that he totally respects. He needs experienced players behind him.

"How old is he, 28, 29? He's a really experienced player, but he's one of them, he'll get to 35 and he'll be exactly the same. He'll still be doing this stupid stuff where he's trying to stud-roll the ball, trying to hold people off, show how strong he is, show how skilful he is, and people know it now. They watch it all the time.

"[I would be on to him] every single day. One and two touches, and pass it. And concentration: the biggest thing with Paul is his concentration. He goes away with the fairies at times.

"Think of the Juventus team he played in, where he was brilliant, which is why we signed him, by the way. The experience around him: [Andrea] Pirlo, [Giorgio] Chiellini, [Leonardo] Bonucci, [Gianluigi] Buffon, an aggressive manager who's telling him all the time. He will need that treatment until he's 35."

Atletico Madrid are hoping to recover from losing to Liverpool on matchday three with a repeat of their Anfield heroics last March.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City will look to take bigger steps towards the last 16, while Real Madrid will go in search of another big win against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Inter can put themselves in a good position to progress, too, although city rivals Milan have got much more of a fight on their hands.

Here are some of the key Opta facts for Wednesday's Champions League matches...

 

Liverpool v Atletico Madrid: Can Suarez improve rotten recent record?

Atletico were winners at Anfield on their last visit as they claimed a 3-2 victory in the last-16 second leg in March 2020. Indeed, Liverpool have only twice beaten Spanish teams at home in 13 attempts in the European Cup and Champions League.

That said, the Marcos Llorente-inspired game last year was one of only two out of 22 at home that Jurgen Klopp has lost in this competition as Reds manager, while Diego Simeone is chasing what would only be the second instance of a third successive away win in the tournament with Atleti.

Luis Suarez will hope to haunt his old side, although recent history is against him: he's only scored one for Atleti in nine Champions League games, and none from open play. Mohamed Salah, meanwhile, needs one more goal to equal Steven Gerrard as Liverpool's top scorer in the competition at Anfield (14).

Manchester City v Club Brugge: Bad omens for Belgian champions

City's 5-1 triumph in Bruges on matchday three took their tally to six wins in seven European games against Belgian opposition, while Brugge are now without a victory over English teams in 13 attempts dating back to February 1995.

Since Pep Guardiola took charge, City have won 80 per cent (20 out of 25) of home Champions League matches, which is the best record for a coach at a single club in the competition among those to take charge of 20 or more. A first win on English soil for Brugge looks unlikely.

Might this be a chance for Raheem Sterling to impress? The England forward has been directly involved in 24 goals in 27 home Champions League games for City, a tally surpassed only by Sergio Aguero (27).

 

RB Leipzig v Paris Saint-Germain: Nkunku could outshine Messi

PSG have only lost one of their past nine away games in the group stage, but that defeat was against RB Leipzig last season. It was the only time in the previous seven meetings with French sides that Leipzig emerged victorious.

He might be enduring a difficult time in Ligue 1, but Lionel Messi has managed three goals in three games in Europe for PSG. His double in the reverse fixture was his 34th in the competition, something only Cristiano Ronaldo (37) can better.

However, perhaps the most in-form player in 2021-22 is Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku, who has been involved in the most open-play sequences ending in a goal (six) among Champions League midfielders this season. And he has four goals of his own from the first three matches.

Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk: Another big win on the cards with Benzema

Madrid's 5-0 win over Shakhtar on matchday three means the past five meetings between these teams have seen an average of 4.6 goals scored per game. In fact, Los Blancos have scored 15 times in five Champions League matches against Shakhtar: that average of three per game is their best figure against a side they have faced on at least five occasions, apart from Galatasaray (3.4 per game).

Shakhtar are one of just three sides yet to score in this season's group stage, but with Madrid having lost three of their previous eight home games in the competition, this could be a good opportunity.

They will need to stop Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior, though: they are the two players with the most involvements in shot-ending sequences in 2021-22 (31 and 34, respectively). Plus, Benzema is on a run of 10 goals in 10 home games in the competition.

 

Sheriff v Inter: Nothing shot-shy about Inzaghi's men

Inter ended Sheriff's 11-game unbeaten run in Europe last time out and will now look to secure consecutive Champions League victories for the first time since October 2018.

The Nerazzurri have lost just once in their previous five Champions League away matches, but Sheriff are unbeaten in their most recent five European games on home soil, excluding qualifiers. They've also won the past two.

Inter certainly have the variety to break down Sheriff's stubborn defence. Each of their previous 17 away goals in the competition have come from open play, while their 29 shots in the meeting on matchday three were the most by an Italian side in a Champions League game since at least 2003-04.

Other fixtures:

Borussia Dortmund v Ajax

45 – Ajax's 4-0 win over Dortmund last time out was the biggest victory by a Dutch side over a German team in Europe since November 1976, when Feyenoord defeated Kaiserslautern 5-0 in the UEFA Cup.

8 – Sebastien Haller has been directly involved in more Champions League goals this season than any other player (eight – six goals, two assists). Among debutants in the competition since 2003-04, this is the highest such figure over a player's first four appearances and one more than Erling Haaland managed.

Milan v Porto

3 – Milan are one of just four sides this season to have lost all three group games. They are on a five-game losing run in the competition, the worst such streak in their history.

1 – Since scoring four for Chelsea against Sevilla in December 2020, Olivier Giroud has scored only once in 250 minutes of play in the Champions League.

Sporting CP v Besiktas

5 – Paulinho has been directly involved in three of Sporting's five goals (two scored, one assisted) in this season's Champions League. Their last player to manage more goals and assists combined in a single season was Nani in 2014-15 (six).

10 – Michy Batshuayi has attempted 10 shots for Besiktas in the Champions League in 2021-22 without scoring. Over the first three matchdays, only Inter's Lautaro Martinez (12) had more shots without finding the net.

Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini laughed off claims Cristiano Ronaldo has been culpable for Manchester United's inconsistent form and offered the Portuguese star praise after his last-gasp equaliser.

Ronaldo volleyed home a 91st-minute equaliser to deny Atalanta three points in their dramatic 2-2 draw in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner levelled the game twice late in each half, after Josip Ilicic's 12th-minute opener and Duvan Zapata's 56th-minute strike.

During United's lean run of form, there had been some criticism of Ronaldo for his defensive work, but he has now scored in every group game in this season's Champions League.

Ronaldo, 36, became the oldest player to score two or more goals in a game for United in European competition, having also matched Ruud van Nistelrooy's 2003 feat of scoring in four consecutive Champions League appearances.

"Some even managed to say he was a problem, imagine Ronaldo as a problem," Gasperini told Sky Sport Italia after the game. "He rarely gets it off target, half the time he scores, half the time it is saved."

The result leaves United top of Group F on head-to-head from Villarreal, with both sides on seven points, while Atalanta are third on five points approaching the final two matchdays.

Gasperini admitted deep regret at Ronaldo's opportunistic equaliser but continued to praise the United veteran, who has five goals in the Champions League group stage, along with four in the Premier League this season.

"The regret is one thousand. We believed in it," Gasperini said during his post-game news conference. "We believed in it because their thrust seemed a bit exhausted too.

"We had good spaces, we controlled the race well and was very close. But this is the Champions League. We faced an extraordinary player with incredible ballistic ability, he fired a shot on a bounced ball several times. This determined the result.

"We have to accept it anyway we still have some chances for qualification. It still depends on us. We played two games that have given a lot to us, to Atalanta and Bergamo."

Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann backed Robert Lewandowski to continue to be the world's best forward as he highlighted the milestone man's longevity following his Champions League hat-trick.

Lewandowski marked his 100th Champions League appearance with a hat-trick as Bayern eased past Benfica 5-2 to seal their last-16 progress in Group E action on Tuesday.

The Ballon d'Or contender became the sixth player to score on his 100th appearance in the Champions League, after Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo and Toni Kroos, while the Poland captain is the first player to score more than once in the milestone game.

Lewandowski also celebrated his fourth Champions League hat-trick – the third-most in Europe's premier club tournament after Ronaldo and Lionel Messi (eight each). At 33 years and 73 days, he is the fourth-oldest hat-trick scorer after Olivier Giroud (34 years 63 days), Ronaldo and Claudio Pizarro (34 years 35 days).

Nagelsmann showered Lewandowski in praise post-match, telling reporters: "Ninety-eight times involved, 81 goals in 100 Champions League games. Something new?

"Today most of the people talk about his three goals. Or many people write about his three goals. But you have to see his joy to play in the last 30 minutes. He played every offensive position, wanted to have every ball. He started good attacks."

When asked to compare Lewandowski to superstar pair Ronaldo and Messi, Nagelsmann added: "I think it's very difficult to compare because they are different types of players. I don't know the character of the other two, I also only know them out of the TV, as do you, I guess. I think all three were very impressive players in the last years.

"[Lewandowski] I also know as a person. He is a very nice guy which whom it's very nice to work with. I heard that also about the other two guys when I talked about them with their former coaches. I believe that Lewy can achieve a lot, also at a high age, because of his physique and his lifestyle and the way he lives as a footballer.

"He will continue to be the best forward in the world because he does everything to keep it that way."

Sergi Barjuan gave no thought to his immediate future as Barcelona's interim head coach during their 1-0 Champions League win at Dynamo Kiev, saying god will decide if he is still in charge for Saturday's clash with Celta Vigo.

Barca boosted their hopes of progressing to the last 16 with a second successive victory over Dynamo, despite an unconvincing performance in Kiev on Tuesday.

Ansu Fati's superb second-half strike settled matters for Barca, who clinched a triumph that took them second in Group E amid intense speculation the club is set to appoint club legend Xavi as Ronald Koeman's successor.

Barca visit Celta this weekend, with Sergi unsure whether he will be overseeing that game or back leading Barca's B team in their home game with Sevilla's B outfit at Estadi Johan Cruyff.

"I told them [the players] how important the game was for the club before the game," Sergi said. "There are many players from the cantera that understood.

"I went all out with that, and I don't know whether or not it worked. But at least we won.

"On a personal level, the fact I am here representing the club that has given me everything is amazing. The players know where they are. Every day you fail to win you enter into a dynamic where you are wondering what you can do.

"It is a matter of work, and now that the dynamic is changing we have to take advantage of it. We have to look at what we have done well and do it better.

"I lived the game as if it were my team. The only way for us all to go together is for me to show serenity in order to convince them and help them improve.

"I cannot think about whether I will be there tomorrow. I want to help the club and I want to do what I am doing. There is not the slightest doubt [in that].

"Today we have won. Let's enjoy ourselves a little bit. God will decide if I will finish the week in Vigo or at the Johan Cruyff."

Villarreal head coach Unai Emery confirmed Newcastle United's interest in bringing him back to the Premier League, but he is yet to receive an offer.

Newcastle have reportedly made former Arsenal boss Emery their number one target to succeed Steve Bruce following the club's takeover by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Premier League outfit Newcastle, who have also been linked with former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, are understood to want Emery in place for Saturday's game against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Villarreal president Fernando Roig told Spanish broadcaster A Punt Media on Tuesday that Emery is "very happy" at the LaLiga side and Europa League champions, but conceded it would not be their decision should Newcastle pay his release clause.

Emery had said on Monday that he did not know anything about the potential move, however, added after Tuesday's 2-0 Champions League win over Young Boys that contact had been made.

"The truth is that they have shown an interest in me, but I have no further news," Emery said during his post-game news conference. "There is no offer. There have been no more steps.

"I am focused on Villarreal. It will have to be a contact between clubs. My idea is to be here on Sunday."

It has been reported Newcastle will pay the stipulated €6million release clause on Wednesday, although Emery would not be drawn on the speculation.

"Well, first I would talk to the president. I neither close the door nor open it to Newcastle," said Emery, who won three successive Europa League titles with Sevilla before leaving for Paris Saint-Germain in 2016.

"I have not said no, but I would discuss it with Villarreal. I am very grateful. I cannot say anything more. We have already talked about noise. The first one who is uncomfortable is me, but we have been focused on the game."

Emery led Villarreal to last season's Europa League crown, beating Manchester United in a marathon penalty shoot-out in the final, earning them qualification for this term's Champions League.

Villarreal are currently 13th in LaLiga, having managed one point from their past four league games, while they sit second in their Champions League group with seven points behind Manchester United on head-to-head.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compared Cristiano Ronaldo to NBA great Michael Jordan after the forward single-handedly dragged Manchester United to a 2-2 draw against Atalanta.

Ronaldo twice inspired United to come from behind, cancelling out strikes from Josep Ilicic and then Duvan Zapata as the Red Devils earned a 2-2 draw.

The Portugal international's brace prevented United from falling to a fourth successive away defeat in the European Cup/Champions League for the first time ever and keeps his side top of their group, level with Villarreal and two points better off than Tuesday's opponents.

Ronaldo also became the second-oldest player to have netted a Champions League double after Filippo Inzaghi (37 years and 86 days) in November 2010, and Solskjaer likened his forward's impact to that of former Chicago Bulls superstar Jordan.

"We all have our roles and responsibilities," Solskjaer told reporters at his post-match news conference. "Cristiano is a leader in the group, but that's what he does: he scores goals.

"We're not happy conceding two goals. Both of them are very, very fine margins. The first one I think should be off, the second one is a centimetre onside, probably. He's maybe offside last season, it's fine margins.

"But he does provide those moments. I'm sure Chicago Bulls didn't mind having Michael Jordan either.

"Sometimes the teams have the players they have, and that's why they are at Man United and why they are champions at Chicago Bulls – you come up with those moments."

United have won just three of their past nine games in all competitions, leaving pressure on the under-fire Solskjaer, but the former Red Devils star hailed the support his side continues to receive.

"It's a great feeling, that support for the team and for me personally. It makes you humble," Solskjaer continued.

"They know that all we want is for the team and the club to do well, of course we want to do our best, and I've appreciated the support recently."

Jadon Sancho, whose opportunities have been limited since joining from Borussia Dortmund in the close season, featured as a second-half substitute, and Solskjaer was satisfied with the England international's performance.

"I commit a crime every time I pick a team," he said. "There are always players that get left out. Against Tottenham, it was a different system, here again it was another different system.

"Jadon has got a fantastic attitude, the quality he has, and he was really sharp when he came on – the first header he cleared, and then he was really good on the ball.

"He's got a really big role to play for us for many years as a good player."

Robert Lewandowski "can catch" Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi following his latest Champions League hat-trick, according to former Bayern Munich forward Mario Gomez.

Lewandowski dazzled in his 100th Champions League appearance, capping the European milestone with three goals in Tuesday's 5-2 rout of visitors Benfica as Bayern sealed their last-16 berth.

The Ballon d'Or contender became the sixth player to score on his 100th appearance in the Champions League, after Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo and Toni Kroos, while the Poland captain is the first player to score more than once in the milestone game.

Bayern talisman Lewandowski also celebrated his fourth Champions League hat-trick – the third-most in the competition after Manchester United's Ronaldo and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Messi (eight each). At 33 years and 73 days, he is the fourth-oldest hat-trick scorer after Olivier Giroud (34 years 63 days), Ronaldo and Claudio Pizarro (34 years 35 days).

As Lewandowski continues to flourish in Munich, shattering records, Gomez hailed the red-hot striker as Ronaldo and Messi – who have 11 Ballon d'Or honours between them – continue to dominate.

"He is playing a different sport; he's in a different league," Gomez told Amazon Prime Video post-match. "He still has a few years left, he can catch them up [Messi and Ronaldo]."

Lewandowski opened the scoring in the 26th minute at Allianz Arena, where Serge Gnabry doubled Bayern's lead six minutes later.

After Morato reduced the deficit, Lewandowski then failed to convert a penalty in first-half stoppage time, though Leroy Sane did make it 3-1 early in the second half.

After his unsuccessful spot-kick, Lewandowski scored a delightful second goal just past the hour mark as he dinked the ball over Benfica goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos.

Lewandowski completed his hat-trick six minutes from the end after Benfica substitute Darwin Nunez had bagged the team's second 10 minutes earlier.

"In the first 20 minutes, I barely touched the ball," Lewandowski told Amazon Prime Video. "It's not easy as a striker to stay patient.

"After the first goal, things were a bit easier. My favourite goal today was the second. I'm annoyed by the two goals we conceded.

"That motivates us. It's especially important for [Manuel] Neuer."

Lewandowski added: "I didn't connect well with the penalty, that was a mistake from me. I saw exactly where the goalkeeper was jumping and still shot towards the wrong corner.

"Fortunately, we still scored a few more goals and picked up three more points. Another clear victory."

Massimiliano Allegri hailed Juventus' response after they beat Zenit 4-2 to qualify for the Champions League round of 16 following defeats to Sassuolo and Hellas Verona.

Paulo Dybala opened the scoring at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday and restored Juve's lead with a retaken second-half penalty after Leonardo Bonucci's own goal had brought Zenit level.

Federico Chiesa added a third for the Bianconeri – becoming the first Juve player since David Trezeguet in 2001 to score in four consecutive home games in the competition – and Alvaro Morata netted as Allegri's men cruised to victory.

Sardar Azmoun scored a late second for Zenit, but that could not stop Juve from sealing their fourth win from their opening four games for just the third time in the Champions League after doing so in 1995-96 and 2004-05.

After their ninth win in 10 home games in the competition, the Group H leaders secured qualification and Allegri saluted his side's desire following back-to-back Serie A losses.

"It's a question of wanting things, nothing else," Allegri told Mediaset post-match.

"The team has technique, everyone is growing. In the meantime, we have reached the first goal of the season."

Allegri sensed Juve were ready to put two poor results behind them.

He added: "We went to a retreat yesterday morning, we met and we had a good workout. Tomorrow morning as a reward I gave a day off, on Thursday we meet again for training."

Dybala moved past Bianconeri legend Michel Platini with a brace and imitated the Frenchman's famous celebration as he posed on the floor after his first goal.

Asked after the game about his celebration, Dybala – who has six goals and four assists in ten appearances this campaign - spoke of his adoration for Platini.

"Platini is an idol for me and for football, I hope he will watch it," Dybala said.

"I wanted to celebrate like this when I equalled his goal tally against Inter, but it was not the case in that game.

"We played as a great team and we achieved the result. We’ve reached the first target, now we want to go to London [to play Chelsea] and get the first place [in Group H]."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised the "incredible" influence of Cristiano Ronaldo after the superstar forward struck twice – including another late goal – to once again rescue Manchester United in the Champions League.

Ronaldo cancelled out strikes from Josip Ilicic and then Duvan Zapata in added time at the end of each half as United twice recovered from behind to draw 2-2 with Atalanta on Tuesday.

The first goal rounded off a slick passing move that also involved substitute Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes, while the second was a perfectly executed volley from range that flew away from Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso.

Ronaldo has now scored in all four of United's Group F fixtures, having also netted a 95th-minute winner against Villarreal and an 81st-minute winner in last month's 3-2 win against Atalanta in the reverse fixture.

The Portugal international's latest brace prevented United from falling to a fourth successive away defeat in the European Cup/Champions League for the first time ever and keeps his side top of their group, level with Villarreal and two points better off than Atalanta.

Reflecting on the competition's record all-time scorer's match-winning display, Solskjaer told BT Sport: "Cristiano is just incredible. That's what he does. If there's any chance you want to fall to in the last minute, and a difficult chance, then it's him.

"He keeps his eye on the ball and his technique on that volley is incredible. That's football. No one can question the character of these players as they didn't give up, they don't give in and they keep going.

"We had to make a few changes and they worked. The first goal was a proper team goal with great quality in the passing and that was the first moment that we played the football that we should do."

Atalanta's opening goal was awarded after a VAR check for a possible offside infringement against Mario Pasalic, who was stood near David de Gea when the goalkeeper somehow let Ilicic's drive squirm through his grasp.

Zapata's strike was initially ruled out for offside, meanwhile, only for the officials to correctly adjudge the forward was onside following a VAR check lasting two minutes.

Atalanta outperformed their opponents 1.55 to 1.04 in terms of expected goals value, but Solskjaer is pleased with the way his side refused to give up in the eventful draw at Gewiss Stadium.

"Sometimes, you don't plan to concede a goal and we're at a difficult place," Solskjaer added. "The atmosphere was electric and they're a very physical and aggressive side. The character was spot on again. They kept going.

"It was a tight game, flaws both ways. Their two goals are very tight to being offside. I feel for the first, it's very close to a player interfering with David's view, and for the second it's very close."

United were already without defender Victor Lindelof, who sustained a knock in training this week, and lost centre-back Raphael Varane – making his second start since returning from a three-game lay-off – to injury shortly before half-time against Atalanta.

Providing an update on the France international ahead of Saturday's Premier League derby showdown with neighbours Manchester City, Solskjaer said: "He felt his hamstring and that of course you can't take any risks with. 

"Rapha has been such a calming influence when he's on the pitch and we lost him so that's football."

Cristiano Ronaldo said Manchester United must improve but they need time after the Red Devils superstar's 91st-minute equaliser salvaged a dramatic 2-2 draw at Atalanta in the Champions League.

United had never lost four consecutive away games in the European Cup/Champions League, however, the underperforming side were facing more unwanted history until Ronaldo rescued a point in stoppage time on Tuesday.

Ronaldo capped a stunning team move in first-half stoppage time to cancel out Josip Ilicic's 12th-minute opener in Bergamo, where Duvan Zapata restored Atalanta's lead 11 minutes into the second half.

However, Ronaldo bailed out Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United again following another underwhelming display in Group F amid mounting pressure on the Norwegian manager – whose team have only won three of their past eight fixtures.

"It was a difficult game," Ronaldo told BT Sport, with United level on seven points with Villarreal atop the group. "It's always difficult here, but we believed until the end.

"I helped my team to get a point and I'm so happy."

Ronaldo became the first United player to score in four consecutive Champions League appearances since Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2003.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner – aged 36 years and 270 days – also became the oldest player to score two or more goals in a game for United in European competition.

Ronaldo is also the second-oldest player to have netted a Champions League brace after Filippo Inzaghi (37 years and 86 days) in November 2010.

"We never give up and believe until the end. It's a good result for us. In the beginning it was tough," Ronaldo added.

"We knew Atalanta would put us under a lot of pressure. They're always difficult to play against. We were a bit lucky at the end, but this is football.

"We have to still improve. We have to adapt to each other, but it will take time. We have time to improve and be better."

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