07.11.2018 23:45 - in: Match report S

      Juve beaten despite dominant display

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      The Bianconeri went ahead through a Ronaldo stunner but United fought back to win with a late flourish

      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.


      Juve started the second half on the front foot, as Paulo Dybala was denied by the woodwork with De Gea well beaten. On the hour mark, Massimiliano Allegri decided to replace Khedira with Matuidi, and although Juve continued to dominate the play, they struggled to break through the English side’s defences. Enter Leo Bonucci. On 65 minutes, his long ball dropped right into Ronaldo’s path, with the Portuguese duly applying a spectacular finish to send the Allianz Stadium faithful wild.


      With the momentum firmly behind them, Juve nearly made it 2-0 only for De Gea to turn Miralem Pjanic’s shot behind for a corner. Cuadrado also set the Bosnian up shortly afterwards, but he was unable to find the target – and the Colombian too was left rueing his finishing after he fired over from Ronaldo’s pass. Juve could be forgiven for thinking they should have been further ahead, but there was trouble brewing.

      First Anthony Martial almost hit the target from outside the box, then the Frenchman forced Szczesny into action with a fierce cross. It was Juan Mata who brought the visitors level with a perfect free kick, but there was even worse to come for Juve. Paul Pogba sent in a free kick from the left, only for the ball to rebound between Bonucci and Alex Sandro and into the back of the net. It was the cruellest of late goals.

      The good news is that one win from Juve’s last two games against Valencia and Young Boys will be enough to secure qualification to the next round, although the Bianconeri will need to keep fighting until the end to win the group. For now, Juve will have to work through the disappointment of having lost a match they dominated for large stretches.

      Ronaldo 65, Mata 86, Alex Sandro og. 90.



      Szczesny; De Sciglio (Barzagli 82), Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira (Matuidi 61), Pjanic, Bentancur; Cuadrado (Mandzukic 90+2), Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo.
      Subs not used: Perin, Cancelo, Benatia, Rugani.
      Coach: Allegri.

      De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; Herrera (Mata 89), Matic, Pogba; Lingard (Rashford 70), Sanchez (Fellaini 79), Martial.
      Subs not used: Romero, Bailly, Darmian, Fred.
      Coach: Mourinho.

      REFEREE: Haţegan.
      ASSISTANTS: Șovre, Gheorghe.
      FOURTH OFFICIAL: Ghinguleac.
      ADDITIONAL ASSISTANTS: Petrescu, Colţescu.


      YELLOW CARDS: Matic 12, Alex Sandro 56, Dybala 75, Herrera 75, Martial 90+5.

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