Champions League

Juventus too good for United on Ronaldo's return

2018-10-24 08:29
Cristiano Ronaldo (AP)

Manchester - Jose Mourinho bemoaned the chasm between his Manchester United side and Juventus as the Italian champions won 1-0 on Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Ronaldo did not get on the scoresheet, but played a supporting role by helping set up Paulo Dybala's winner on 17 minutes as Juventus opened up a five-point lead over United at the top of Group H.

Only a series of excellent saves from David de Gea prevented the margin of defeat being far greater for the hosts as any momentum United gained from fightbacks against Newcastle and Chelsea in recent weeks in the Premier League faded away against one of the favourites to win the Champions League.

Jose Mourinho's men were handed a break before kick-off as Valencia's 1-1 draw away to Young Boys means United still hold a two-point lead over the Spaniards, but a fourth defeat of the season will see speculation over Mourinho's future increase once more.

And in keeping with his complaints all season, Mourinho suggested United need to invest more in the transfer market to get to Juventus' level.

Juventus spent 112 million for a 33-year-old Ronaldo in July and also brought Leonardo Bonucci back just a year after selling the Italian international to AC Milan.

"Mr. Bonucci, Mr. (Giorgio) Chiellini, they could go to Harvard to give some classes about how to be a central defender," said Mourinho, whose attempts to add a centre-back in the summer were thwarted.

"Juventus is champions for seven years in a row, two Champions League finals in the last four or five years and they are not happy with what they have, they want more. They had (Gonzalo) Higuain, (Mario) Mandzukic and Dybala, but they want more, they want Ronaldo," he added.

"They go for the best players in the world. A big club with a big past but also a big desire to have a big future."

Ronaldo was given a hero's welcome on his previous visit to Old Trafford with Real Madrid in 2013 after scoring 118 goals for United in six seasons between 2003 and 2009 to help the Red Devils win three Premier League titles and the first of his five Champions Leagues.

The Portuguese's early days as Juventus player since making the move to Italy from Madrid this summer have been overshadowed by a rape allegation made against him in the United States, which he strongly denies.

And the reception he received from the United faithful this time was far more muted, although he was applauded off the field at the end of the game after taking a selfie with a pitch invader, who was hauled away by security staff.

Ronaldo scored the winner in a contentious Champions League last-16 tie for Madrid five years ago, but this time played the role of provider for Dybala to be the match-winner.

His cross intended for Juan Cuadrado ricocheted kindly off Chris Smalling into the path of Dybala to sweep the ball past De Gea for his fourth goal in two Champions League games.

"The forwards moved a lot and caused their defence a few problems, but we missed the final pass too many times, especially in the second half," said Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri.

"However I'm satisfied mostly because we are continuing to grow, especially in terms of confidence, and that allowed us to impose our own game in this difficult stadium."

De Gea made fine saves from Joao Cancelo and Blaise Matuidi before the break, but saved his best stop to prevent Ronaldo scoring his first Champions League goal for Juventus seven minutes into the second-half.

Going behind brought out the best in Mourinho's side against Newcastle and Chelsea to help ease the pressure on the manager.

But the hosts failed to threaten until Paul Pogba's curling shot from outside the box hit the post 15 minutes from time.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
AEK Athens v Ajax, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Viktoria Plzen, Stadion Luzhniki 19:55
Juventus v Valencia, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v Benfica, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Young Boys, Old Trafford 22:00
Roma v Real Madrid, Stadio Olimpico 22:00
Hoffenheim v Shakhtar Donetsk, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 22:00
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Atletico Madrid v Monaco, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 19:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Galatasaray, RZD Arena 19:55
Porto v Schalke 04, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
PSG v Liverpool, Parc des Princes 22:00
PSV v Barcelona, Philips Stadion 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge, Signal-Iduna-Park 22:00
Napoli v Crvena Zvezda, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Internazionale, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Tuesday, 11 December 2018
Galatasaray v Porto, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 19:55
Schalke 04 v Lokomotiv Moskva, Veltins-Arena 19:55
Liverpool v Napoli, Anfield 22:00
Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur, Camp Nou 22:00
Club Brugge v Atletico Madrid, Jan Breydelstadion 22:00
Monaco v Borussia Dortmund, Stade Louis II 22:00
Internazionale v PSV, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Crvena Zvezda v PSG, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
Wednesday, 12 December 2018
Viktoria Plzen v Roma, Doosan Arena 19:55
Real Madrid v CSKA Moskva, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 19:55
Valencia v Manchester United, Estadio de Mestalla 22:00
Benfica v AEK Athens, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Hoffenheim, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Ajax v Bayern Munchen, Johan Cruijff ArenA 22:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Olympique Lyonnais, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 22:00
Young Boys v Juventus, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which English Premier League club will progress furthest in this season's Champions League?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.