Wednesday November 7 2018
CL: Inexplicable Juve collapse

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a spectacular volley and Juventus wasted numerous chances, hitting the woodwork twice, but somehow lost 2-1 to Manchester United.

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The Bianconeri were the only remaining side in the Champions League with a perfect record and a point here would be enough to secure qualification for the Round of 16. The pressure was growing on Jose Mourinho after Valencia beat Young Boys 3-1, especially as he missed Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot, choosing Jesse Lingard rather than Marcus Rashford, with ex-Udinese forward Alexis Sanchez as the centre-forward. Juve rested Joao Cancelo and Blaise Matuidi, with Mario Mandzukic carrying a knock, Federico Bernardeschi, Douglas Costa and Emre Can out.

Paul Pogba returned to the Juventus Stadium and was given a very warm welcome from his old fans, who have made no secret of their desire to reunite.

Rodrigo Bentancur’s shot was deflected just wide of the far post and Nemanja Matic was booked early doors for a horrible tackle on Paulo Dybala.

Matic floated the ball over the top and Alexis Sanchez just failed to get there at full stretch, while a counter-attack saw Sami Khedira sting David De Gea’s gloves.

De Gea got down well to beat away a low Juan Cuadrado cross-shot, but Khedira missed a sitter when he scuffed Ronaldo’s assist from 10 yards and hit the far post on 35 minutes.

Pogba intercepted a Dybala volley from the edge of the area and on the counter Ronaldo pulled back only to find nobody in the box.

After the restart, Anthony Martial’s angled drive flashed wide, but Dybala almost scored a stunner with his left-foot curler from the edge of the box smacking the crossbar with De Gea totally stranded.

Cristiano Ronaldo had not yet scored in the Champions League in a Juventus jersey, but he was saving up for an absolute stunner. Leonardo Bonucci’s long ball floated over the top, Ronaldo watched it fall over his shoulder and smashed a simply unstoppable right-foot volley into the roof of the net from 10 yards.

It was almost 2-0 moments later, De Gea getting a strong one-handed save to Miralem Pjanic’s strike from the edge of the box. Cuadrado horribly wasted a golden opportunity on the counter, combining with Cristiano Ronaldo only to shin over the bar from close range.

Pjanic’s missile from 25 metres swerved viciously to skim the top corner and Rashford fired wide, but the first real save came on 85 minutes as Anthony Martial burst down the left and his cross-shot was cleared by a combination of Wojciech Szczesny’s hand and Chiellini.

However, Manchester United scored moments later, as substitute Juan Mata curled a free kick into the near top corner from the edge of the D.

Incredibly, the visitors turned it around within four minutes with a bizarre goal. A free kick was whipped in, Marouane Fellaini flicked it on with his head and it took several ricochets off a small crowd of players in the six-yard box, eventually going in off Alex Sandro’s face.

There was even almost a third deep into stoppages, as Rashford was totally unmarked on the counter, but Szczesny came flying out to parry.

There was tension at the final whistle, as Jose Mourinho put his hand to his ear and winked at the crowd. Bonucci and Dybala went over to tell him that was unnecessary and the Coach stormed off raging.

Juventus 1-2 Man Utd

Ronaldo 64 (J), Mata 86 (M), Alex Sandro og 90 (M)

Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio (Barzagli 83), Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira (Matuidi 61), Pjanic, Bentancur; Cuadrado (Mandzukic 92), Cristiano Ronaldo, Dybala

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Herrera (Mata 79), Matic, Pogba; Lingard (Rashford 70), Sanchez (Fellaini 79), Martial

Ref: Hategan (ROU)

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