Atalanta v Manchester United: Match in Pictures
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Cristiano Ronaldo should demand more from his Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, according to former Aston Villa skipper Gabriel Agbonlahor. United have kept just two clean sheets in all competitions this season. Maguire has faced criticism for his performances, the latest of which was the 2-2 Champions League draw at Atalanta on Tuesday.
Ronaldo scored a stoppage-time equaliser to keep qualification from the group in United’s hands.
The Portugal superstar has scored in each group stage match so far and scored vital late goals in three of them.
But Agbonlahor believes it is time United’s defence gave their attackers more help.
He says Ronaldo should call out Maguire and the rest of the backline in the dressing room, requesting they concede fewer goals.
Man Utd news: Cristiano Ronaldo has been told to demand more from Harry Maguire (Image: GETTY)
Agbonlahor said on talkSPORT: “We used to come in at half-time sometimes, I remember Fabian Delph used to shout at the keeper and defence – ‘clean sheet wins us the game’.
“When you’re winning 1-0 or 2-0, ‘clean sheet wins us the game’.
“If I’m Ronaldo I’m in the changing room saying: ‘Any chance Harry? Any chance lads of a clean sheet? Any danger?’.
“Sometimes can’t you just go one-on-one with your striker and just stop them scoring.
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“The defending, honestly, they look like conceding every time they play don’t they.
“If there was better finishing yesterday, Atalanta could have scored four or five.”
Agbonlahor still feels Maguire is England’s best defender.
But he believes opposition teams will start to target the former Leicester star due to his poor run of form.
“Even Harry Maguire now has been in bad form but I’d still put him as England’s best centre-half,” Agbonlahor added.
“Who’s going to take his place? I wouldn’t argue with that, Ben White, he’s been in good form hasn’t he.
“It’s a shame with Maguire though because he looks like a good lad, Maguire.
“He looks like an honest lad, done well in the Euros, tries his hardest doesn’t he.
Man Utd news: Harry Maguire is one of United’s record signings (Image: EXPRESS)
“But sometimes when you know a defender is struggling, you’re going to target him.
“Now, if I’m at a team playing against Manchester United, I’m targeting that side.”
United are next in action this Saturday in the derby against Manchester City at Old Trafford.
Victory would take United level on points with Pep Guardiola’s side.
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