Manchester United came back after a wonder strike by Ronaldo to steal three points in Italy. Two quick-fire free-kicks proved too much for Szczesny as Mourinho’s men were rewarded for digging deep. Juventus hit the post twice as they lived to rue their chances.
Manchester United Steal All the Points After a Strong Team Performance
Two free-kicks in just as many minutes meant that substitute Juan Mata could add to his impressive free-kick tally. He had a difficult task to get the ball up and down over the wall when he came off the bench once more to rescue Manchester United. The Reds showed great character to get back into the game.
A second free-kick two minutes later stunned the Juventus defence. Szczesny was always walking backwards and never looked certain. A scrappy goal that came off three Juventus players before finding the net but United fans won’t care how it went in.
Managerial Tactics Changed the Balance of the Game
The reasoning behind the comeback was definitely tactical changes. Mourinho made positive changes and the Juventus manager left a hole in his defence, bringing on an attacking player. Juventus changed to three at the back which invited the United players onto the defenders. Fellaini in and around the box meant that the players had someone to aim their crosses at.
Wonder Strike From Ronaldo Sure to Steal the Headlines
Despite Manchester United winning, most of the attention will be surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal for Juventus in the Champions League. A beautiful right-footed volley flew past De Gea, who didn’t even know the ball had gone behind him. It was a perfectly timed pass that dropped just over the shoulder. His 121st Champions League goal is an impressive tally, but this goal has to have been his best.
The second-half comeback means ten of United’s last 12 goals have come in the second half in all competitions. Manchester United fans won’t care about that though, as they have just witnessed a remarkable comeback.
First-Half Like a Game of Chess
The first half was an intense tactical battle with both sets of defences standing firm against their opponent’s attacks. Lingard looked fresh and ready to go after a long while off the pitch in the early stages. His work rate put Manchester in a position where they can go forward, something they failed to do in the reverse fixture. Martial’s recent form didn’t seem to dip as he enjoyed the time he had on the ball.
Juventus grew in the first-half, putting Swedish defender Lindelof under a lot of pressure. Both teams attacked with good flow but Juventus had the better of the chances in the first half. A Juventus counterattack always looked looming. Manchester United had to be careful not to commit too many men forward.
Juventus hit the Post and De Gea Keeps Visitors in the Game
The best counter-attack of the first half nearly put the hosts in front when Khedira hit the post on the 35th minute. Precise passing opened United up. The Diagonal ball catches United off guard, but Sami fails to put Juventus into the lead.
De Gea enjoyed a first-half clean sheet on his birthday but he had to work for it. His best save was from Cuadrado shot. Matic deflected the ball and De Gea had next to no time to react to the ball. He somehow managed to keep the ball from reaching his net and keep the game level.
Mourinho went into half-time a very pleased manager after a solid display from the visitors. Knowing his side performs better in the second half, it was very promising for the Portuguese manager.
Juventus Hit the Post Again in the Second Half
Juventus will rue the chances they missed earlier in the game. Striking the woodwork twice meant that tonight wasn’t the night they will keep their unbeaten run going. Dybala struck the bar from 20 yards out. De Gea could only stand and watch as the ball went straight over his head.
Ashley Young gave Manchester United another injury scare after being stamped on by the Juventus player Sandro. His ball played Lingard through and Manchester United nearly broke the deadlock.
Manchester United seemed happy to have time on the ball. They took advantage of the time they got, passing it around the pitch, gaining even more confidence. This United side looked completely different to the team that faced Juventus at Old Trafford.
United Brimming With Confidence and Juventus Left Frustrated
Juventus will take pleasure in the fact that they will still qualify and will probably top the group. They will look to put the defeat behind them as they push for another title. Manchester United will be eager to take the positives from tonight and transfer them into the Manchester derby this weekend.