Late Manchester United double downs Juventus

Michael Ballack Jose Mourinho

Since United won 3-0 in Turin in the second group stage in February 2003, Juventus have lost just one of their 35 home Champions League matches in the group stages.

When Juan Mata's free-kick curled over an unusually disorganised Juventus wall and past Wojciech Szczesny after 86 minutes, Massimiliano's Allegri's side were stunned.

Young did eventually have his moment to shine, producing his own free-kick that befuddled the Juventus defence and ending up eventually bashing in off defender Alex Sandro's forehead for United's victor.

However, the 2-1 win came at a cost with Alexis Sanchez limping off before the late comeback at the Allianz Stadium.

"Maybe in the future, there is a substitute where you go, take the free-kick and go back to the bench".

United will be confident but I'm not sure Mourinho is the type of manager who will go for it at the Etihad. I have always felt it is better to lose earlier on in the season than at the end of a title race, because you have time to find the fire to win again and catch up. A ball into the box was headed on by Marouane Fellaini and Sandro got the final touch as the ball was bundled over the line. "The goalkeepers help me out too".

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The United manager suggested afterwards the Juventus supporters had brought it on themselves.

"The most important (thing) is the three points".

That makes Mata's goal and the subsequent victor vital for the English side, who now appear on a path towards the knockout rounds with a match against Young Boys looming. Juventus had plenty of opportunities to bury the game but their sloppiness in front of goal cost them the chance to seal their qualification to the knockout rounds. They kept Juve at arm's length in the first half and looked comfortable until Ronaldo's fantastic finish on 65 minutes. It was quite even.

Subsequently, Pjanic and Cuadrado missed gilt-edged chances to extend the Old Lady's lead and they then ended up on the losing side against a team that's making mincemeat out of adversity a truly remarkable quirk of theirs.

Anthony Martial should continue on the left flank after bagging five goals in his last four games while Ander Herrera is expected to continue in midfield.

"Today we did a big step, but it's not over yet."

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