Champions League

United stun Juventus to snatch dramatic comeback win

2018-11-08 00:57
jose mourinho
Jose Mourinho (Getty Images)

Turin - Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first Champions League goal for Juventus, but a stunning Manchester United comeback snatched a 2-1 win for the Premier League side to delay the Italians' passage to the last 16 on Wednesday.

Ronaldo struck with a magnificent first-time shot on 65 minutes to seemingly leave Juve on course for the knockout phase, but Juan Mata equalised with an 86th-minute free-kick before Leonardo Bonucci turned into his own net.

Delighted United manager Jose Mourinho walked out onto the pitch at the Allianz Stadium cupping his ears and winking towards the crowd after a win that gave his side seven points from four games - two points behind leaders Juventus with two games to play in Group H.

Juventus had proved wasteful with Sami Khedira and Paulo Dybala both hitting the woodwork before five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo brought the capacity 41,470 crowd to their feet when he picked up a Bonucci cross from just inside United's half.

It was the eighth goal this season for the 33-year-old who arrived from Real Madrid last summer in a deal estimated to cost 340 million euros in total over four years, on top of the 110 million-euro transfer fee.

It was also the 121st Champions League goal for Ronaldo who holds the all-time record in the European competition, and first since a 90th-minute penalty he scored for Real Madrid against Juventus in the quarter-final, second leg in Spain last April.

Massimiliano Allegri had urged his side to seal their first objective of the season of reaching the last 16, and a draw would have been enough for this.

Ronaldo was backed up by Juan Cuadrado and Dybala, who scored the only goal in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford, up front with returning Khedira starting in midfield as World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi started on the bench.

United ride luck

Manchester United were without injured forward Romelu Lukaku with Alexis Sanchez taking his place alongside Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.

World Cup winner Paul Pogba, playing at his former club, was in midfield alongside Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic.

Ronaldo came close after five minutes when Bonucci laid it on for Dybala on the edge of the box, with the Argentinian chipping it over for Ronaldo whose volley was blocked by Victor Lindelof.

But the hosts sprung into action on the half hour with a low Cuadrado cross taking a deflection off Matic's knee before David De Gea reacted superbly to keep the ball out.

Ronaldo then served up Khedira but the German's low shot rattled the base of the post after 35 minutes.

United were again saved by the crossbar after the break with a curling Dybala effort flying over De Gea only to clip the bar.

But Ronaldo broke the deadlock when Bonucci curled over a pass which flew over Lindelof and straight into the path of Ronaldo who volleyed in past a helpless De Gea.

United though had the final word turning the game round in just four minutes, substitute Mata bending in a free-kick from the edge of the box to give the visitors a scarcely deserved equaliser.

Juve were then left in shock as Ashley Young's free-kick in from the left bounced in off a combination of Bonucci and Sandro after a frantic scramble in front of goal, condemning them to their first defeat this season.


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