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9th November 2018

Manchester United stun Juventus in the Champions League

Two goals in the last few minutes handed Juventus their first Champions League group stage home defeat since 2009
Manchester United stun Juventus in the Champions League
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Manchester United stunned Juventus in Turin with two goals in the closing stages to win the game, and, put themselves in a good position to qualify from their group.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opener against his former club with an outstanding volley from an equally outstanding through ball by Leonardo Bonucci. It was Ronaldo’s first goal in the Champions League wearing the iconic black and white stripes of Juventus.

His side should have put the game to bed and left United without a chance. Sami Khedira struck the post from a chance which looked impossible to miss, and Paulo Dybala hit the bar with a curling effort from outside the box early in the second half.

If those chances weren’t enough Cuadrado and Pjanic both stumbled with their big opportunities and despite not challenging Szczesny in the Juventus goal, United still had a shot at victory.

In the 86th minute, Manchester United got a free kick on the edge of the area. Juan Mata stepped up and floated the ball sweetly into the top corner. Szczesny took a small step to his left leaving him flatfooted and unable to reach the Spaniard’s effort.

Three minutes later United won another free kick, this one near the touchline on the left-hand side. Ashley Young fired a cross into a dangerous area which Juventus were unable to deal with. The ball bounced off multiple players before ending up in the back of the net. The Red Devil’s had come back from one goal down to beat Juventus in their own ground.

The game was the first loss for Juventus in a Champions League group stage home game since December 2009, an incredible record spanning 19 games since they lost to Bayern Munich.

Munich appears in another interesting stat emerging from this game. Manchester United came back to win a Champions League game with two late goals for the first time since 1999. The match in question was the Champions League final and will forever be remembered for Sir Alex Ferguson’s now iconic double substitution of Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

Both players scored to complete United’s treble (Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League), the first of its kind. It was widely regarded as the most successful in the clubs history and Jose Mourinho will be looking to emulate that this season.

After the match, Mourinho said: “A point or three would have changed little for Juventus, but three points makes a big difference to us. 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.”

The result leaves United second in Group H, only two ahead of third-place Valencia. With two games left to play, one against Valencia, the other against Young Boys, Mourinho’s side cannot afford to drop any points if they want to progress to the knockout stages.

Their next European fixture is against Young Boys on the 27th November at Old Trafford. Before then, however, United face their so-called ‘noisy neighbours’ City in the Manchester derby where the team will be looking to keep the momentum going and give the Citizens their first defeat of the season.

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