Report: Resurgent Manchester United win in Turin after Juan Mata found the equaliser to Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener; Alex Sandro’s own goal secured the win

Jose Mourinho made two changes from the side that beat Bournemouth at the weekend. Ander Herrera replaced Fred and Jesse Lingard came in for Juan Mata on the right-wing. Manchester United needed a good start against a strong Juventus team who were yet to lose this season. The opening 10 minutes saw a much-improved United performance from the one we saw at Old Trafford.

United seemed comfortable playing the ball about and pressing high up the pitch in an attempt to disrupt the Juventus play. The first chance of any note came nine minutes in from Rodrigo Bentancur who had a deflected shot and minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo had a long-range effort shot wide. Juventus had a good opportunity to score following a brilliant headed lay-off from Ronaldo to the on-running Sami Khedira, but the situation was well read by the much improved Victor Lindelof.

Juventus had just shaded possession 25 minutes in but there were lots of positives for United to take as Juventus were struggling to break them down. United continued to keep a foothold in the game and after neat build-up play, Nemanja Matic played a chipped through ball to the outstretched leg of Alexis Sanchez. However, the Chilean was unable to get on the end of it.

Moments later Sanchez found himself standing over a free-kick in a dangerous position, just 25 yards out. The strike was blazed into the wall and quickly led to a Juventus counter attack. Paulo Dybala controlled the ball beautifully and played in Khedira who had his shot saved by David De Gea. Juventus started to mount some consistent pressure on United with Cuadrado jinking past Luke Shaw and having a dangerous deflected shot saved by De Gea.

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Moments later Khedira was once again involved, this time striking the post following a pull back cross from Ronaldo. Shortly before half-time Juventus had a free-kick that caused chaos in the United box but was eventually dealt with. The half ended 0-0. The second half started with chances for both sides. A dangerous ball was played into the box for Ronaldo but was well dealt with by Chris Smalling. Anthony Martial responded moments later, cutting in from the left flank and firing his shot just wide.

Dybala struck the bar with a fine effort from just outside the box after good link-up play with Juan Cuadrado. In the 53rd minute, United had a good opportunity to cause some trouble for the Juventus back line. An interception by Ashley Young led to Jesse Lingard racing down the right-wing and he played in Paul Pogba whose weak cross wasn’t properly dealt with, and Sanchez was able to play a cross into the box but to no prevail.

The 60-minute mark saw the first substitution of the match with Blaise Matuidi coming on for Khedira. It also sparked constant pressure from Juventus which resulted in a fantastic goal from Ronaldo. Leonardo Bonucci, making his trademark pass in behind the defence found Ronaldo whose first-time volley flew past De Gea, who didn’t even move. A special goal from a special player. Marcus Rashford soon after came on for Lingard who had only just come back from injury.

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The pressure continued from Juventus and in the 72nd minute, a mistake from Pogba played Cuadrado in behind the United defence, with the attacker squaring the ball to Pjanic who side-footed his shot well wide. Cuadrado then had a chance to score after he was played in by Ronaldo but fired over. A let-off for United. Shortly after Miralem Pjanic had a great effort from just outside the box just go over the United crossbar. Juventus were on top and United were hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

A double substitution of Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini on for Herrera and Sanchez seemed to be the turning point. In the 83rd minute, Martial went on a great run, beating Cuadrado with ease and having his cross only just being cleared by the Juventus defence. Martial was involved again linking up nicely with the substitutes Rashford and Fellaini, with the ball eventually falling to Pogba who was fouled on the edge of the box.

Mata stepped up and curled in a beautiful free-kick to level the match. United and their fans all of a sudden had lots of energy. Rashford won a free-kick on the far side of the pitch in the 89th minute. Young whipped in a great cross and Wojciech Szczesny could only get a slight touch to the ball and it rebounded in off Alex Sandro. United could have wrapped up the game moments later when Rashford was played in on goal but had his shot well saved by the goalkeeper.

United held on to gain what is a massive victory. 2-1. One which puts United second in the group and in control of their own destiny. Next for United is the Manchester derby away to Manchester City. By claiming a big scalp at Juventus, the United players will be full of confidence going into Sunday’s fixture.

Goals: Cristiano Ronaldo 65′; Juan Mata 86′, Alex Sandro 89′

Assists: Leonardo Bonucci 65′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Herrera (Fellaini 79′), Matic, Pogba; Lingard (Rashford 70′), Sanchez (Mata 79′), Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly, Darmian; Fred

Bookings: Alex Sandro 55′, Paulo Dybala 75′; Nemanja Matic 12′, Ander Herrera 75′, Anthony Martial 90+5′


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