Soccer

Juventus 1-2 Manchester United: Jose Mourinho’s men claim win in Turin

Juventus 1-2 Manchester United: Juan Mata and an own goal from Alex Sandro complete remarkable comeback for Jose Mourinho’s men after Cristiano Ronaldo scores spectacular opener in Turin

  • Manchester United came from one goal down with 10 minutes left to play to claim a victory against Juventus
  • Cristiano Ronaldo broke the deadlock for the hosts after 65 minutes with a sublime piece of individual play
  • He latched onto a long ball from Leonardo Bonucci and hit a powerful volley past a helpless David de Gea 
  • Juan Mata then scored a stunning equaliser with just five minutes remaining with a perfectly aimed free kick
  • Alex Sandro then netted an own goal in the 90th minute to round off a superb win for Jose Mourinho’s side 

It wasn’t a goal for the highlight reel. It wasn’t one like Cristiano Ronaldo had scored earlier. But the 90th minute winner that put Manchester United firmly on course for the Champions League knockout stage would have been a thing of beauty to Jose Mourinho.

It was a reward for a resolute defensive display, one that had kept United in touch with a superior Juventus side until a remarkable five minutes in which the game turned on its head.

It was injury time when Ashley Young curled in a free-kick that seemed to leave Juve’s defence in chaos. A bundle of players attacked the ball at the far post, Paul Pogba among them. He was claiming the goal, but it looked as if full-back Alex Sandro got the final touch. There was a stunned silence, a moment when it was thought Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan might save the home side – and then he signalled the goal. 

Manchester United came from a goal down inside the final 10 minutes to claim an emphatic 2-1 victory against Juventus

Manchester United came from a goal down inside the final 10 minutes to claim an emphatic 2-1 victory against Juventus

Juan Mata scored a stunning equaliser with just five minutes remaining before an Alex Sandro own goal won it for United

Juan Mata scored a stunning equaliser with just five minutes remaining before an Alex Sandro own goal won it for United

Ashley Young's last minute free kick, swung in from the left side, drifted all the way through the crowd towards the back post

Ashley Young’s last minute free kick, swung in from the left side, drifted all the way through the crowd towards the back post

Under pressure from a number of United attackers, the ball hit the unfortunate Sandro and went into the back of the net

Under pressure from a number of United attackers, the ball hit the unfortunate Sandro and went into the back of the net

Manchester United players and staff celebrate their remarkable victory in front of their own fans at the Allianz Stadium

Manchester United players and staff celebrate their remarkable victory in front of their own fans at the Allianz Stadium

Cristiano Ronaldo handed Juventus the lead midway through the second half with a sensational piece of individual brilliance

Cristiano Ronaldo handed Juventus the lead midway through the second half with a sensational piece of individual brilliance

 David de Gea stood helpless in goal as Ronaldo's fierce first time volley flew into the back of the net and put Juve in front

 David de Gea stood helpless in goal as Ronaldo’s fierce first time volley flew into the back of the net and put Juve in front

Ronaldo did not hesitate and burst into a wild celebration against his former club after scoring the opening goal of the night

Ronaldo did not hesitate and burst into a wild celebration against his former club after scoring the opening goal of the night

Ronaldo and his Juventus team-mates celebrate taking the lead as they looked on course to maintain their unbeaten record

Ronaldo and his Juventus team-mates celebrate taking the lead as they looked on course to maintain their unbeaten record

MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS, GROUP H TABLE AND MATCH ZONE 

Juventus (4-3-3): Szczesny 5, De Sciglio 6.5 (Barzagli 82), Bonucci 7, Chiellini 6.5, Alex Sandro 6.5, Khedira 6 (Matuidi 60), Pjanic 5.5, Bentancur 6.5, Cuadrado 6.5 (Mandzukic 90+2), Dybala 6.5, Ronaldo 8.

Subs not used: Perin, Benatia, Cancelo, Rugani.

Goals: Ronaldo 65

Bookings: Alex Sandro, Dybala

Manager: Massimiliano Allegri 6

Manchester United: De Gea 7, Young 6.5, Lindelof 6.5, Smalling 7, Shaw 7, Herrera 7 (Mata 79, 7), Matic 6.5, Pogba 5.5, Lingard 6 (Rashford 70, 6), Sanchez 6.5 (Fellaini 79, 6), Martial 6.5.

Subs not used: Romero, Bailly, Mata, Fred, Darmian.

Goals: Mata 86, Alex Sandro OG 90

Bookings: Matic, Herrera, Martial

Manager: Jose Mourinho 7.5

Referee: Ovidiu Alin Hategan 7

Attendance: 41,470

Player Ratings by Chris Wheeler in Turin

Cristiano Ronaldo broke the deadlock after 65 minutes with a sublime volley that flew past a helpless David de Gea. Click HERE for more from our Match Zone.

Cristiano Ronaldo broke the deadlock after 65 minutes with a sublime volley that flew past a helpless David de Gea. Click HERE for more from our Match Zone.

 

As for the equaliser, let’s just say the third touch is a charm. Juan Mata had a feel of the ball on two occasions as a substitute, before unleashing the free-kick that brought United level.

They now have two games to ensure they stay up on Valencia’s points total. And while one of those matches is Valencia, away, they will fancy their chances with that.

It was a solid defensive display – and the odd slice of luck – that kept them in this game, but it needed Mata’s brilliance with a dead ball to make it count. Anthony Martial and Pogba combined to win the free-kick, but Mata got the last word, a magnificent curling effort that left Wojciech Szczesny clutching at air.

Until that moment it had looked to be Ronaldo’s night. This time he did celebrate. He said he wouldn’t, at Old Trafford, out of respect to his former club and their fans. Here, in the shadow of the Alps, there was no such obligation. So when he scored the goal that looked to have undone so much fine defensive work by Manchester United he celebrated like, well, Cristiano Ronaldo.

He ran to the left of the goal and pulled up his shirt to reveal that washboard torso, a central core so firm and toned a small tower block could be constructed around it with no query from the planning department. How long does Ronaldo work on athletic tone? Probably as long as he works on the first time finishing that flummoxed Manchester United. 

Paul Pogba was given a warm reception by Juventus fans as he made his first appearance in Turin since leaving in 2016

Paul Pogba was given a warm reception by Juventus fans as he made his first appearance in Turin since leaving in 2016

Ronaldo was a threat for Juventus throughout and looked to test Manchester United's defence early on in the contest

Ronaldo was a threat for Juventus throughout and looked to test Manchester United’s defence early on in the contest

United attacker Alexis Sanchez tries to turn away from Leonardo Bonucci in more of a central role for the Red Devils in Turin

United attacker Alexis Sanchez tries to turn away from Leonardo Bonucci in more of a central role for the Red Devils in Turin

Juventus defender Mattia De Sciglio and Anthony Martial vie for the ball with the Frenchman raising his arms to the throat

Juventus defender Mattia De Sciglio and Anthony Martial vie for the ball with the Frenchman raising his arms to the throat

United manager Jose Mourinho could not hide his frustration at the some of the referee's decisions on the touchline

United manager Jose Mourinho could not hide his frustration at the some of the referee’s decisions on the touchline

Until that point, they had proved extremely hard to break down. Juventus hit the woodwork twice, and spurned several good opportunities, but United surely anticipated that when they arrived with a resolute defensive plan.

What no club can adequately guard against is the one chance that Ronaldo needs to score. Not even a clear cut chance, either. Most strikers would have struggled to convert Leonardo Bonucci’s pass forward into a goal, even as perfectly placed as it was. Ronaldo, instead, made it look easy.

He broke clear of Victor Lindelof in the penalty area, with the ball arriving over his right shoulder. Take a touch? Are you mad. Ronaldo watched it in all the way, let it drop as if possessing a sixth sense and volleyed it past David De Gea as if engaged in a round of shooting practice. It was sublime. The run, the connection, the execution, all had to be immaculate for it to work as well as it did. At 33, he shows no signs of compromise in his performance level. What were Real Madrid thinking, letting him go?

From there, Juventus could have walked away with it. Ronaldo was now the provider, setting up Miralem Pjanic, whose shot forced a brilliant save from De Gea. Pjanic then played a one-two with Juan Cuadrado before wasting his shot. Then it was Ronaldo’s turn again – a nicely-weighted pass for Cuadrado whose shot went wildly over the bar, a real howler.

Nemanja Matic is shown the yellow card in the early stages of the game for a foul on Paulo Dybala, who stayed down in pain

Nemanja Matic is shown the yellow card in the early stages of the game for a foul on Paulo Dybala, who stayed down in pain

The imposing Serbian midfielder cut down the Argentine forward in a risky challenge from behind after just 12 minutes

The imposing Serbian midfielder cut down the Argentine forward in a risky challenge from behind after just 12 minutes

Giorgio Chiellini makes a last ditch tackle to steal the ball away from Jesse Lingard, who was making his return to action

Giorgio Chiellini makes a last ditch tackle to steal the ball away from Jesse Lingard, who was making his return to action

Massimiliano Allegri urges his players forward as they looked to clam their fourth win from four games in the group stage

Massimiliano Allegri urges his players forward as they looked to clam their fourth win from four games in the group stage

Sanchez had a chance to put United ahead from close range but couldn't make sufficient contact to beat Wojciech Szczesny

Sanchez had a chance to put United ahead from close range but couldn’t make sufficient contact to beat Wojciech Szczesny

It was in first-half injury time when Manchester United had their first shot on target. A tame, low effort from Pogba, a bit over 20 yards out on the left, easily mopped up by Szczesny in the Juventus goal. Not that Mourinho would have minded.

This was about containing Juventus, soaking up their pressure and striking back on the counter attack – and they have done most of that rather successfully. While Juventus had mustered ten goal attempts in the opening 45 minutes, just one had been on target, and that a deflection kept out by David De Gea.

Indeed, the game had gone 31 minutes before Juventus managed a shot of note, and even that had come as the result of a lame Manchester United free-kick. When Ander Herrera was slyly held back, referee Hategan of Romania gave a foul in a dangerous area, just outside the penalty box.

Alexis Sanchez, deployed as a centre-forward in place of the injured Romelu Lukaku, stepped up to take it, but curled his shot torso height, and it was repelled by the Juve wall. The Italians broke and Sami Khedira was set on his way, but snatched at his shot early when patience might have been rewarded. It was a hard hit but straight at De Gea, who was never troubled.

This did, however, spark Juve’s best spell of the match and in the space of two first-half minutes they should have taken the lead. Ronaldo wasn’t at the centre of the goal mouth action, but he was always involved in the link play, making an impact in all areas of the field. 

Khedira came closest to breaking the deadlock for the hosts but he watched as his effort cannoned off the frame of the goal

Khedira came closest to breaking the deadlock for the hosts but he watched as his effort cannoned off the frame of the goal

Ronaldo was pictured remonstrating with the referee after he played zero minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half

Ronaldo was pictured remonstrating with the referee after he played zero minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half

Dybala produced a piece of magic in the early stages of the second half but his curling effort from distance hit the bar

Dybala produced a piece of magic in the early stages of the second half but his curling effort from distance hit the bar

Ronaldo made a pacey run in behind Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof and hit a powerful, first-time volley 

Ronaldo made a pacey run in behind Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof and hit a powerful, first-time volley 

The 33-year-old was keen to show off his immaculate physique and exposed his ripped abs in trademark fashion to cameras

The 33-year-old was keen to show off his immaculate physique and exposed his ripped abs in trademark fashion to cameras

In the 35th minute, he turned up on the right, hitting a low cross that picked out Khedira perfectly. He had time to turn and place his shot, but tried to make it too perfect in eluding De Gea and found only the outside of a post. It was by far Juve’s best chance of the half.

Their other contained an element of fortune. Juan Cuadrado, who has made a success of his career in the Italian league without ever looking like he would haunt Chelsea in the way Mo Salah and Kevin De Bruyne have, struck a cross from the right, which deflected off Nemanja Matic, forcing a save from De Gea, low to his right. Fortunately for United, Victor Lindelof was first to react, kicking the ball clear before any of Juve’s lurking forwards had the chance to make it count.

United’s opportunities were limited at best. In the 29th minute, a Matic chip came close to setting up Sanchez, but while he timed his run through Juve’s defensive ranks perfectly he could not get the touch to make it count. Mourinho looked on impervious. He was insistent before the game that Manchester United’s qualification depended on their next two games, not this one, and a point would most certainly do.

It needed no little luck, as well as resistance, mind – and within five minutes of the resumption Paulo Dybala hit a curling shot from outside the area that struck the top of De Gea’s bar.

Anthony Martial made a surging run into Juve’s box, too, but couldn’t transfer his recent Premier League scoring form and steered his shot wide of the far post. 

Juventus had chances to extend their lead but the Premier League giants drew level with Mata's sublime set piece

Juventus had chances to extend their lead but the Premier League giants drew level with Mata’s sublime set piece

United's No 8 looked delighted to have given his side a glimmer of hope before they went on to net the winner

United’s No 8 looked delighted to have given his side a glimmer of hope before they went on to net the winner

Pogba and Chris Smalling were both in position to tap the ball home but it deflected off Sandro and past the goalkeeper

Pogba and Chris Smalling were both in position to tap the ball home but it deflected off Sandro and past the goalkeeper

Mourinho cupped his hand over his ears towards the Juventus fans after his side earned a memorable victory

Mourinho cupped his hand over his ears towards the Juventus fans after his side earned a memorable victory

Victory gave United's hopes of reaching the knockout stages a significant boost with two rounds of fixtures still to play

Victory gave United’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages a significant boost with two rounds of fixtures still to play


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