Champions League: Man Utd comeback stuns Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo scored a superb volley but Mourinho’s men win late in Turin
Juventus 1 Manchester United 2
Manchester United pulled off one of their best results in recent years last night, beating Juventus in the Champions League group H clash in Turin.
The 2-1 victory means that the Red Devils are still in contention for the knockout phase of the competition, although Valencia’s 3-1 win against Young Boys in the other group H game means qualification will go down to the wire.
Italian champions Juve lead the group on nine points, two more than United, who in turn are two clear of Valencia. Next up for Jose Mourinho’s men is the visit of Young Boys to Old Trafford on 27 November, followed by a trip to Valencia.
A win against the Swiss side and a point for Juventus in Spain would allow United to qualify with a game to spare. Failing that, they will need to get a point in Valencia in the final group game.
A big victory
“It is a big victory for us, not just because we needed the points but because it was away from home against an amazing team,” declared Mourinho, who almost inevitably became embroiled in controversy at the end of the pulsating game.
After Cristiano Ronaldo had put the hosts ahead on 65 minutes with a superb volley, United scored twice in the final five minutes to inflict on Juventus only their second home defeat in 36 Champions League group games.
Juan Mata’s curling free-kick was the first goal the Italians have conceded in this season’s competition, and if that wasn’t bad enough for the home fans, the sight of Leonardo Bonucci putting the ball into his own net on 89 minutes from Ashley Young’s free-kick stunned them into silence.
Although Uefa credited Bonucci with the own goal, some media outlets allotted the unfortunate honour to Alex Sandro.
Mourinho mocks Juve
The late winner also saw Mourinho turn to the Juventus faithful and cup his hand to his ear, a gesture that infuriated Bonucci.
The pair squared up on the pitch at the end of the match, The Sun reports. Asked about the incident, the United manager insisted: “I didn’t offend anyone at the end, I just made a gesture that I wanted to hear them louder.”
Despite the defeat, Juventus remain in control of group H. Nonetheless, it was a bitter night for the hosts, particularly Ronaldo, who didn’t have much praise for the performance of his former club.
“I was happy to score but we are a little disappointed because we should have won the game by three or four goals,” he told The Times. “Manchester didn’t do much. They created two chances from set pieces. English teams are always looking for set pieces.”
Matchday four results
- Group A: Monaco 0 Club Brugge 4; Atletico Madrid 2 Borussia Dortmund 0
- Group B: Inter Milan 1 Barcelona 1; Tottenham Hotspur 2 PSV Eindhoven 1
- Group C: Red Star Belgrade 2 Liverpool 0; Napoli 1 Paris Saint-Germain 1
- Group D: FC Porto 4 Lokomotiv Moscow 1; FC Schalke 04 2 Galatasaray 0
- Group E: Benfica 1 Ajax 1; Bayern Munich 2 AEK Athens 0
- Group F: Lyon 2 1899 Hoffenheim 2; Manchester City 6 Shakhtar Donetsk 0
- Group G: CSKA Moscow 1 Roma 2; Viktoria Plzen 0 Real Madrid 5
- Group H: Valencia 3 Young Boys 1; Juventus 1 Manchester United 2