The lesson is clear for Juve: in the Champions League, you can’t afford to get distracted or waste too many opportunities. Because that’s exactly what happened on Wednesday night as Manchester United ran out 2-1 winners over Juventus, despite the home side dominating the game for long stretches. It was a first defeat of the season for the Bianconeri, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning opening goal proving meaningless in the end.
Juve made two changes to the side that played at Old Trafford, with Mattia De Sciglio and Sami Khedira coming in for Joao Cancelo and Blaise Matuidi, yet the Bianconeri showed the same confidence and conviction they had displayed in Manchester two weeks previously.
Rodrigo Bentancur encapsulated everything that was good about Juventus in the first half. The Uruguayan had a shot early on, popped up down the left flank and won more than his fair share of balls make from the English visitors.
It’s only natural that the eyes of the world focus on Cristiano Ronaldo on these big Champions League nights, and the Portuguese was in a lively mood as he fired a long-range effort wide before almost teeing up Khedira with a cute headed pass.
With the Bianconeri firmly in control of the match, United’s first chance of note came on the half-hour mark as Nemanja Matic almost played in Alexis Sanchez, with Wojciech Szczesny confident enough to watch the ball through. Juve were dangerous on the break, with Khedira seeing a shot saved before Juan Cuadrado’s cross was deflected by Matic to force David De Gea into a tricky save, while Khedira very nearly converted a Ronaldo cross with minutes remaining in the first period – the post came to the visitors’ rescue.