Talking Points: Juventus 1 Manchester United 2 – Smash and grab

Talking Points: Juventus 1 Manchester United 2 – Smash and grab


Manchester United have staged a stunning late comeback to secure a 2-1 victory over the more fancied Juventus in Turin.

Cristiano Ronaldo got on the scoresheet against his former side with a stunning volley just after the hour mark, as his strike marked his first Champions League goal for the Old Lady.

Substitute Juan Mata put the visitors back on level terms with just a matter of minutes of remaining with a curled free kick into the top corner.

It proved to be a cruel ending for Juve as Alex Sandro produced the last touch from an Ashley Young free kick which in turn proved to be the match winner.

United’s substitutes impact, Juve’s do little

Any manager in the game of football wants to see players make an impact from the bench and that’s exactly what Jose Mourinho’s did.

Mata and Marouane Fellaini played key roles in the come back as their introduction saw United create as many attacking opportunities as they did for the entire match.

Spaniard Mata once again proved to be a decisive figure in the United squad, as he continues to show why he is so adored by the club’s faithful. On the other hand, Fellaini – who has often been criticised – made a nuisance of himself during the final 10 minutes.

The match winning goal may well not have come if it had not been for his presence inside the 18-yard area.

Meanwhile for the Italian champions, Max Allegri’s decision to introduce Andrea Barzagli invited more pressure on his side as United chased an equaliser.

It proved to be decisive as the visitors made the most of their opportunities.

Missed opportunities for Juve

Once Ronaldo did open the scoring for the home side it felt like they created chances at will until United’s final 10 minute spurt.

Looking back on the highlights, fans of the Italian giants will be wondering how they didn’t put the match to bed.

Midfielder Miralem Pjanic missed two big sidefooted efforts, one which was saved by David De Gea. Juan Cuadrado will be having nightmares after he spooned the best chance to double the lead over the crossbar.

The result also meant Juventus will have to wait until the next matchday to book their place in the knockout stages.

A night full of new marks

In previous years, Juventus have become almost unbeatable at home during the Champions League group stage with the Old Lady often seeing off most opposition.

United’s victory saw Juve lose their first home game at this stage of the competition for the first time since December 2009.

On another positive note for United, Mata’s goal marked their 500th goal in the competition. While Ronaldo’s volley meant they have now conceded 200 goals since the competition underwent a rebranding.