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Ratings: David De Gea and Ander Herrera in the plaudits from victory over Juventus in Turin

Manchester United beat Juventus 2-1 at the Allianz Stadium in Turin on Wednesday evening. Cristiano Ronaldo, who else, opened the scoring in the game as Juventus took the lead in the 65th minute. It looked like another defeat was on the card by Juan Mata scored a fantastic free-kick in the 86th minute with Alex Sandro, a player linked to United in the summer, scoring a last-minute own goal, giving United all three points.

Jose Mourinho will be happy with his team following the victory over Juventus, which coupled with the victory over Bournemouth last weekend, sets United up, on confidence ahead of the Manchester derby on Sunday, which will then lead into the final international break of 2018. Juan Mata’s free-kick gave a then-beaten United some hope minutes before Ashley Young’s cross into the box was seemingly turned into the net by Sandro, who was linked to United in the summer.

The victory puts United back to second in the group after Valencia beat Young Boys 3-1 earlier on Wednesday, meaning United will need to beat the Swiss team in around three weeks before travelling to Valencia for the final group stage match of the UEFA Champions League. Gaining three points in Turin sees United just two points behind Juventus, who have Valencia and Young Boys to play yet, with the top place in the group still up for grabs.

David De Gea and Ander Herrera were the two stand-out players from the match, in my opinion. De Gea was seemingly back to his best, forcing a fine save from Miralem Pjanic and Herrera was a nuisance in midfield and seldom lost possession. The result will no doubt drive United to cause problems for Manchester City on Sunday, a team who have now scored 12 goals in their last two matches in all competitions.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spaniard had little chance to deny Cristiano Ronaldo. Put in a fine save to deny Morale Panic, though.

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18 Ashley Young

The English defender did not start the match very well, allowing the likes of Rodrigo Bentancur to get behind him. Did not seem to be the best output from the wide areas. However, his cross in the last-minute turned into the winning goal after Alex Sandro put the ball into his own net.

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Chris Smalling

The United veteran seemed to get away with a challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo in the second half, which could have changed the game.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede was great in the game at Old Trafford and defended well in Turin. However, he let Cristiano Ronaldo behind him for the opening goal of the game in the 65th minute.

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23 Luke Shaw

Juventus kept the England left-back busy on the left, which was the channel they threatened the most during the match. His eighth match in a row for United.

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21 Ander Herrera

The Spanish midfielder showed his class, seldom losing the ball and becoming a nuisance for his opposition. A good player for United to have, and keep for the foreseeable future.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian was the first player to be booked after his challenge on Paulo Dybala. After being booked, like he has done before, he was careful and helped United get stuck in.

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6 Paul Pogba

It was a big night for the Frenchman on his return to Turin. He lost the ball frequently and was too casual at times, which has been said often by many.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Rusty from his six-week absence, making his first start on Wednesday evening. Was replaced with twenty minutes left. Good to have him back as another attacking option.

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Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean started the match in fine fettle but faded as the game grew to a close. Nemanja Matic put a great over-the-top ball in for him but he could not get on the end of it.

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9 Anthony Martial

Five goals in the last five matches and the Frenchman would have been ready to go. Shot wide of the mark at the start of the second half. Might need to play a more central role, which could see his best form return with a bang.

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Substitutes

10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Jesse Lingard 70'. Helped his team attack and tried to get stuck in himself, shooting wide of the target before United equalised.

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27 Marouane Fellaini

Replaced Ander Herrera 79'. Helped drive United forward in the last ten minutes of the match. The substitutes helped to change the game.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced Alexis Sanchez 79'. Got United level after a sublime free-kick four minutes from time. A great goal for the Spanish magician.

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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′

Confirmed Starting XI: Alexis Sanchez leads the line against Juventus; Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera both return

Manchester United will be handed their biggest challenges this week, ahead of the final international break of 2018 with a visit to Turin in the UEFA Champions League where they will face Juventus, before travelling to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City on Sunday. Juventus won at Old Trafford a fortnight ago, despite only scoring one goal at the Theatre of Dreams. Cristiano Ronaldo made his return to Old Trafford again, for the second time, failing to get on the scoresheet.

This time, it will be the return to Paul Pogba to Turin, his former home. The Frenchman has suggested that Manchester United is his home but also stated that Turin was home too. Which one is home? You cannot have both. It has been a turbulent season for United, not just results wise. The defence does not seem to be able to keep a clean sheet this season, despite having the same players as last season, which led United to become the second-best defence in the Premier League.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw;

Herrera, Matic, Pogba;

Lingard, Sanchez, Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Darmian; Mata, Fred, Fellaini; Rashford

Manchester United need a result against Juventus to have an easier run in their last two Champions League group matches. Currently, after three matches, United sit second in the group with four points. Juventus are top with nine points, Valencia third with two points and Young Boys at the bottom with one point. Valencia host Young Boys in the early match on Wednesday, meaning United will know what they need to do ahead of kick off.

Starting XI Prediction: Anthony Martial could be the key to beating Juventus in Turin on Wednesday…

Manchester United travel to Turin to face Juventus in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening. After the defeat to the Italian side a fortnight ago, United will need to get a result in Turin to take the pressure off the remaining two matches in the Champions League, at home to Young Boys and away to Valencia. United sit in second in the group right now, two points clear of Valencia and three clear of Young Boys.

United need to be scoring more goals. Gone are the days when five goals could be scored in a single match. This season, United have managed three goals in a game twice, once with a clean sheet, once coming from 2-0 down. Jose Mourinho and his side need to be finding ways to bring back the attacking days of old and ensuring this United team attack, attack, attack. Here is the team that I feel should play against Juventus this week, fitness and injury concerns are taken into account.

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Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Manchester United might be able to rest David De Gea from one of the final two group stage matches if they get a result in Turin. Playing the best goalkeeper at the club in this game is obviously what United need to be doing. Having him in the defence makes them better, despite the fact United’s defenders have become poor this season, after being the second-best defence in the Premier League last season. De Gea seems to be concentrated on helping his United side win games, which is great.

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Defenders: Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw

This seems to be the best four-man defence the club can muster together at this moment in time. Luke Shaw has started to find his form, Ashley Young is playing some good football as a right-back and Victor Lindelof was a stand-out performer against Juventus a fortnight ago. Chris Smalling is the weak link in this defence but at times he can be the stronger player. However, reinforcement is needed if United want to achieve things. Goals win you games, defence wins you titles.

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Midfield: Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba

Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba could be the midfield partnership to bring out the best of this United side, who have more to lose than to win in Turin. Having Nemanja Matic in the team is great for the defensive aspects of the game but he is slow and with him against Juventus at Old Trafford, the midfield was sluggish and needed pace to overcome the problems they were facing. With Juan Mata, playing at number ten, he could drop back and help create from deeper roles, if needed.

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Attacking Midfield: Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial

Marcus Rashford scored the winner against Bournemouth on Saturday, which means he should keep his place in the side to face Juventus. Anthony Martial scored too and with it being his fifth goal in five matches, keeping him in the side is obvious. Juan Mata has played some good football recently and should also remain in the side. He may not have the pace needed but the footballing mind to read matches is an attribute he is needed for.

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Striker: Alexis Sanchez

Romelu Lukaku was injured in training ahead of the Bournemouth game which led to Alexis Sanchez leading the line. This may have happened anyway with the fact that the Belgian had not scored for his club in their last nine matches. United need to find out how to score goals galore. Right now, playing the way they are, the best only comes to the surface when they are trailing in the match, which is going to add more problems than it solves.

Preview: Turin or bust for Manchester United? Jose Mourinho needs to find the winning formula…

Juventus -v- Manchester United

UEFA Champions League

Allianz Arena, Turin, Italy

Wednesday 7 November 2018; KO 20:00 GMT

Referee: Ovidiu Haţegan

Manchester United will be handed their biggest challenges this week, ahead of the final international break of 2018 with a visit to Turin in the UEFA Champions League where they will face Juventus, before travelling to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City on Sunday. Juventus won at Old Trafford a fortnight ago, despite only scoring one goal at the Theatre of Dreams. Cristiano Ronaldo made his return to Old Trafford again, for the second time, failing to get on the scoresheet.

This time, it will be the return to Paul Pogba to Turin, his former home. The Frenchman has suggested that Manchester United is his home but also stated that Turin was home too. Which one is home? You cannot have both. It has been a turbulent season for United, not just results wise. The defence does not seem to be able to keep a clean sheet this season, despite having the same players as last season, which led United to become the second-best defence in the Premier League.

This season the defensive awareness has been abysmal. Jose Mourinho wanted to sign some better players in the summer, which was seemingly rejected by the board with Ed Woodward briefing the media with the suggestion that the players Mourinho wanted were no better than the players the club had currently. Looking at the players Mourinho wanted and comparing them to the players Mourinho has, shows that Woodward’s footballing knowledge is just as abysmal as the defence United has.

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Pre-Match Thoughts: The winning mentality could help United in Turin but the players need to work towards victory, not hope they will win…

After losing to Juventus at Old Trafford, this is a match United will need to get a result from. They currently stand second in the group after Young Boys and Valencia drew and with them playing in the earlier fixture, United will find out what they need to do in order to retain the second spot in the group, which is going to be nothing short of a victory in Turin. That though is going to be a challenge in itself as this United side has nothing the previous sides had.

Right now, the form of Anthony Martial is the main driving force in the team. Martial has scored five goals in his last five matches and seems to be arriving in some sort of form, which is only going to be good for United. However, there are other players in the team who need to start performing – Romelu Lukaku is one of them. He suffered an injury in training ahead of the Bournemouth match this weekend and did not travel. He has not scored for United in nine matches now.

Marcus Rashford needs a run in the team. He scored the winner against Bournemouth on Saturday, which will have added to his confidence ahead of a tricky trip to Italy this week, not to mention the Manchester derby on Sunday. Some suggest that the 20-year-old need a prolonged run in the team, as the striker, to bring out the best in him. However, other supporters have said Rashford does not score enough goals so needs to be dropped. Let’s bring in another striker who does not score for him then!?!?

Team News: Injuries coming to an end, more options in the team and a rejig in the squad in a bid to find more goals…

Jose Mourinho could have four players on the sidelines this week with Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Valencia, Diogo Dalot, and Marouane Fellaini all absent from the Bournemouth match. Phil Jones was back on the bench, which could create more defensive options with Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly also absent but not injured. Alexis Sanchez made his return from an injury sustained during the last international break, leading the line for United against Bournemouth.

United defender Chris Smalling spoke after the late victory over Bournemouth on Saturday, suggesting that the club could take the winning spirit to Turn in the hope of coming back with three points, which will also create more belief in the run-up to the Manchester derby on Sunday. Smalling, speaking to the official Manchester United website, said:

“Against Juventus we started a little in awe, we were off the pace and we weren’t really on the front foot. I think in the second half we showed that we could give them a game, that we could create chances. I think we can take that second-half performance to Turin, we’ll be more on the front foot and you’ll see a better performance than you did in the first half.”

Predicted Starting XI: Alexis Sanchez to lead the line in Turin? Anthony Martial to continue his goalscoring run?

Jose Mourinho really does need to find the best from his team, especially in a week where his side will face Juventus and Manchester City, both away from home. Romelu Lukaku scored plenty of goals last season, although his first touch and finishing were both poor at times, which could have been the main contributing factor for him not scoring more than he did. This season, his goalscoring has been poor as have been some of his individual performances.

Having Alexis Sanchez to lead the line will take pressure off Lukaku but also having Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, who are both able to play in this role will add other options to this team. However, if one of these players leads the line, there will be a void where they normally play, which would only rotate the three players (Sanchez, Martial, and Rashford) with them playing in different roles.

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United are a team that have predominantly played attacking football but post-Sir Alex Ferguson, that attacking prowess has not really been prevalent. Manchester City scored six goals against Southampton on Sunday and United can only dream about the times they scored as many goals in a single match. In the league, the last time United scored five goals was in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final game, a 5-5 draw away to West Bromwich Albion.

In David Moyes’ season, United beat Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 in the Champions League. Last season, United scored four goals a few times, this season, that seems like a dream. United have scored three goals once in the league, also once in the Champions League. However, in terms of clean sheets, United have kept two in the Champions League and one in the Premier League. In nearly six years, United seem to have gone from free-scoring to free-conceding, losing that attacking frame of mind, which needs to return.

Match Prediction: Manchester United to win in Turin? That is the dream but what is the reality?

Manchester United need a result against Juventus to have an easier run in their last two Champions League group matches. Currently, after three matches, United sit second in the group with four points. Juventus are top with nine points, Valencia third with two points and Young Boys at the bottom with one point. Valencia host Young Boys in the early match on Wednesday, meaning United will know what they need to do ahead of kick off.

A win against Juventus will add a cushion between United and the third-placed team, which is currently two points, which will see United as having an advantage ahead of the fifth match in the group on the 27 November 2018 when United host Young Boys, before ending in December in sunny Spain as Valencia host United. If United lose on Wednesday, they will need to wins to escape the group and avoid the UEFA Europa League, beating Juventus will curtail the pressure for now.

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Juventus 1-2 Manchester United

Ratings: Victor Lindelof was one of the stand out players in Juventus victory; Romelu Lukaku poor, again!

Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, their first defeat in the competition this season. It was Paulo Dybala who scored the winning goal in the 17th minute of the game. Cristiano Ronaldo, making another return to the Theatre of Dreams could not beat United’s defence during the game. There was a difference in class between the two teams with United needing to find a lot of improvement.

It was a game many wanted United to win. Looking at the scoreline, many will think they gulf was not as big as it was. United seem to be miles behind Juventus right now. Victor Lindelof had a good game, seemed defensively astute at times but gave far too many corners away. However, in a period when United’s best defence is unknown, it looks good to see him get minutes against some of the worlds best footballers, seemingly getting the better over them, despite the one goal conceded at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

The Juventus away match will be one that will either see Juventus as the group winners or see United take back some control, despite not being able to win the group. The fact that Valencia and Young Boys drew will be a positive outcome, which means United sit second in the group, two points ahead of Valencia, and three points ahead of Young Boys. United will face Everton on Sunday in the Premier League, which gives them four full days to prepare, which needs to see them earn points in the Premier League, not lose them.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made a few good saves. The double save, which started from the Ronaldo free-kick saw the best of De Gea come through again.

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18 Ashley Young

Booked in the second half. Also fouled Ronaldo, which gave Juventus a free-kick, which Ronaldo nearly scored, if not for a fine save by De Gea.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Defensively, the Swede as sound. He had to battle the Juventus forwards, who gave him a game. He got the better of them most of the time. Gave away too many corners though, but that was better than giving away goals.

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Chris Smalling

Had his hand in for the Juventus goal, failing to clear the chance Cuadrado made for Dybala, who found the back of the net. However, he worked hard and got stuck in when he needed to, other than for the goal.

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23 Luke Shaw

Juventus' goal came from the left flank. Martial did not do enough to help out. Ronaldo got away from the pair to cross the ball into the box. Shaw got forward a little and got stuck in. This will be a learning curve more than something to be angry about for him.

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8 Juan Mata

Needs to play in the number ten role more often. There is no better player at the club right now, in this position. Tried to create, however, he did not do enough with the ball for my liking.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Tried to be the guy that got United purring. However, his passing was not the best, at times. Put the effort in throughout the game.

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6 Paul Pogba

Not as effective as he needed to be. He knew how Juventus played, spending four years there. Had a great shot on goal in the second half, hitting the post, which was a shame.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Defended at times with Juventus in control of much of the match, if not all of it. Could have been good with him leading the line. Lukaku needs to be dropped, which could see him in the middle, or Martial, or both!

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Romelu Lukaku

Eight games without a goal now. Need I say more? Needs to understand that with him in the team and not scoring, it's pointless. Not sure he could score in a month of Sunday's at the moment.

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9 Anthony Martial

His defensive aspects of the game let him down as he failed to track Ronaldo, which led to the opening goal. Not all his fault. Ronaldo tracked back to deny something similar from happening in the first half. No reason Martial can not do that too. A lively player on the attack, however, he was largely ineffective.

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Goals: Paulo Dybala 17′

Assists: Juan Cuadrado 17′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; Mata, Matic, Pogba; Rashford, Lukaku, Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly, Darmian; Pereira, Fred, Herrera; Chong

Bookings: Blaise Matuidi 59′, Giorgio Chiellini 82′; Ashley Young 77′

Report: Juventus reign supreme in Old Trafford battle; the gulf between them Manchester United was a big one

Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, their first defeat in the competition this season. It was Paulo Dybala who scored the winning goal in the 17th minute of the game. Cristiano Ronaldo, making another return to the Theatre of Dreams could not beat United’s defence during the game. There was a difference in class between the two teams with United needing to find a lot of improvement.

Jose Mourinho named an unchanged team to face Juventus on Tuesday evening at Old Trafford. It was the first time in 46 matches an unchanged team has been used. Alexis Sanchez made United’s injury list a little longer with an injury which was either received during the international break or during his cameo at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. It could be an exciting evening for Tahith Chong with the 18-year-old named on the bench for United. The U19s, who he could have played for this afternoon, won 4-1.

United started the game well with Marcus Rashford running up the right-wing but was fouled by Miralem Pjanic, giving United a free-kick, which came to nothing. Minutes later, Luke Shaw was fouled on the left-wing, giving United another free-kick. Rashford took the second free-kick, not able to get the ball past the Juventus defence. Juventus were aiming to give United a difficult evening, with Cristiano Ronaldo testing Chris Smalling in United’s area.

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In the ninth minute of the match, Juventus had a great opportunity through Paulo Dybala but Nemanja Matic cut his possession and kicked the ball out for a throw-in. Seconds later, Ronaldo had the chance to open the scoring, left by United’s defenders to roam by the near post but was unable to create any danger after the lofted pass was seemingly too high for the Portuguese international to fire into the back of the net.

Ashley Young nearly got onto the end of the ball, running up the right-wing but Ronaldo dropped back to cut the ball out, which started an attack for Juventus, which came to nothing. Even the best players in the world have to be defensively aware during matches. United won a free-kick in the 16th minute after Blaise Matuidi fouled Paul Pogba close to the edge of the Juventus box. The ball was lofted into the box and Pogba’s header was straight to Wojciech Szczęsny.

Juventus opened the scoring in the 17th minute through Dybala. The move was started by Ronaldo, putting in a fierce cross, causing problems with Smalling failing to cut out the play. Dybala was there to slot home his fifth goal of the season, assisted by Juan Cuadrado, leaving United behind in the first half again, which has been similar in many matches this season with the two recent ones against Newcastle United and Chelsea, seeing United rise to the game and come back into it. Could it happen at Old Trafford tonight?

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United needed to get back into the game. Just after the goal, Juventus had 70% possession with 189 passes of the ball. United had 30% possession with just 60 passes. The mentality of the players was just not comparable compared to the players of the Italian team. Maurizio Sarri suggested that United had the best squad, player for player, in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s match with Chelsea. It was not looking like that so far at Old Trafford.

Juventus won a corner in the 30th minute of the match after Dybala tried to cross into the box, the ball striking Victor Lindelof, putting it out of play. The Italian side could have found a second goal from that corner, but it was not meant to be for them. Rashford had some good play on the ball in the 32nd minute, running into the box, which was difficult for him, only to be dispossessed before he had the chance to create something. United then won a corner, with the Old Trafford faithful up to full volume. It came to nothing.

Juventus won a free-kick, in dangerous territory. Ronaldo took the set-piece, David De Gea made a fine save to deny him, parrying the ball into the box only for Juventus to have another shot, by Matuidi, which De Gea saved again. Juventus had another great chance to double their lead but Lindelof cut the ball out with some good defending, showing that he is capable of performing to the standards required. The half ended 1-0 to Juventus. Not the best half for United, but one of the worst, not the worst.

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There were no changes for either side at the start of the second half. United started well with Anthony Martial having an opportunity to score but seeing his effort drift out of the box, however, he had another chance to create something, passing to Romelu Lukaku, who was bullied off the ball by Giorgio Chiellini. Lukaku needs a goal, it has been seven matches without him scoring for his club, only scoring recently for Belgium.

Martial had another chance minutes later but Leonardo Bonucci made the challenge to deny him from creating something for his side. Juventus won a corner after Lindelof put the ball out of play, cutting out a cross which was meant to be for Ronaldo, stopping Juventus from going 2-0 up and probably game over for United, at this stage. United need some urgency, passion, fight and the ability to create something. Ronaldo had a great shot moments later, drawing a save from De Gea, giving another corner to Juventus.

The corner came to nothing, although Bonucci got a book to Lindelof’s head, putting the Swede no his back for a moment, however, he was happy to continue. Ten minutes into the second half and United were chasing shadows. The gulf between both teams was visible to everyone and anyone. The money spent on the players at the club seems to hold no bearing on the quality of the players, based on tonight, anyway.

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United won a free-kick after Mata was seemingly fouled, albeit, by who, I don’t know. The Spaniard took the free-kick but Matic was offside and the flag was raised. United won another free-kick moments later. Young was fouled by Matuidi, who was the first player to be booked this evening. Mata took the set-piece, which was too high and a waste of an effort. United started trying to get back into the game after the hour mark, with a few chances, although nothing to write home about.

Juventus were starting to put more and more pressure on United, with just over twenty minutes remaining. Joao Cancelo was one of the players with the driving force, pushing United deep and testing them. It has been Lindelof, the last couple of times who has made the last challenge to win back possession or put the ball out of play for a throw-in. Which is good to see for the Swede, who has not got the backing of a lot of United supporters in his first 18 months of his United career.

In the 73rd minute of the match, Ronaldo had a great chance to score, running to meet the ball but De Gea came out and collected, stopping the former United star from finding the back of the net at the Theatre of Dreams. Pogba had a great opportunity in the 75th minute, stroking the ball from the edge of the box and the fortune favouring the Juventus goalkeeper, with the ball seemingly striking the post. Great chance for United.

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Ashley Young was booked in the 76th minute for a foul on Alex Sandro, Juventus won a free-kick. Before the set-piece, the first change of the evening was made with Dybala being replaced by Federico Bernardeschi. United should have won a free-kick themselves moments later, but it was ruled in favour of Bonucci, which was lucky for him. Juventus made a second substitution with Cuadrado being replaced by Andrea Barzagli. Chiellini was booked in the 83rd minute, for either timewasting or taking the free-kick further forward.

United won a corner after Lukaku tried to shoot on goal, the ball then being deflected out of play. Rashford took the set-piece, the ball was too high for Lindelof, Smalling ran to gather with Chiellini challenging him. United lost possession and had to counter a Juventus attack. United won another free-kick after Ronaldo used his arm. Mata took the free-kick, lofting the ball into the box and Matic headed to the Juventus goalkeeper.

Mata had a good chance, putting the ball in for Lukaku, who saw his effort deflected, the ball went back to Mata, who was flagged for offside. Juventus then made a third change with Douglas Costa replacing Cancelo in the 87th minute of the match. Ronaldo had another chance, denied again by Lindelof, who gave Juventus another corner. Bonucci had an effort in the closing minutes, his effort always rising, resulting in no trouble for De Gea.

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Martial had another good chance for United, shooting from quite far out which resulted in an easy collection for Szczęsny. Three additional minutes were added at the end of the half. United have not made one substitution with some eagerly awaiting Tahith Chong to be thrown in at the deep end. United spent some time in the Juventus final third, unable to grab anything from the game. Juventus then launched another counter-attack, which United dealt with.

Pogba tried to create something in the midfield but did not take the ball with him. Matuidi then ran with the ball into United’s half with the United defenders able to stop him from creating something. The game ended with Juventus taking all three points and having a vice-like grip on the group with three wins in three. United will be happy that Valencia and Young Boys drew earlier today, which sees them in second place. In two weeks, they will face Juventus again. On Sunday, United will play Everton.

Goals: Paulo Dybala 17′

Assists: Juan Cuadrado 17′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; Mata, Matic, Pogba; Rashford, Lukaku, Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly, Darmian; Pereira, Fred, Herrera; Chong

Bookings: Blaise Matuidi 59′, Giorgio Chiellini 82′; Ashley Young 77′

Confirmed Starting XI: Chong on the bench; Rashford, Lukaku & Martial lead the line against Juventus

Manchester United take on Juventus in the UEFA Champions League at Old Trafford this evening. The return of Cristiano Ronaldo, for the second time since his departure from the club in the summer of 2009. Many will be excited about this prospect, forgive me for viewing him as just another opposition player coming to the Theatre of Dreams. Ronaldo was one of the best players to ever play for the club but for me, that part of the clubs history is over now.

It will be a match that also sees Paul Pogba go against his former club for the first time. In a fortnight, he will be preparing to play at his former stadium for the first time since returning to United in the summer of 2016. United have raised expectations over the last few weeks, after a turbulent time which saw them winless in four matches. Beating Newcastle United, overturning a 2-0 deficit, winning 3-2, was followed with a good game at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

Anthony Martial seems to have restored himself to the pinnacle of the club once again, scoring three goals in the last two matches. Hopefully, he can take some of the strain off Romelu Lukaku, who has not been in the best form for United recently, despite scoring countless goals for Belgium. Jose Mourinho still has the backing of the Old Trafford faithful, and millions of other supporters elsewhere. Many still want him to be sacked, however, the club seems to be taking no action, for now.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw;

Mata, Matic, Pogba;

Rashford, Lukaku, Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Darmian; Pereira, Fred, Herrera; Chong

United and Juventus have played 12 competitive matches in the history of both clubs. Both clubs have won five matches each, drawing the other two. United have won the last three matches played, one of which was in the treble-winning season, the other two from fifteen years ago. A lot has changed since these teams last met home and away. United will be seeking a way to gain victory, coming out on top at the Theatre of Dreams. However, Juventus will be seeking to spoil the party.

Preview: Manchester United ready to challenge Juventus as Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford…

Manchester United -v- Juventus

UEFA Champions League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Tuesday 23 October 2018; KO 20:00 BST

Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)

Manchester United are back in action in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening with Italian champions Juventus returning to Old Trafford. It will also be the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Real Madrid for the Italian club in the summer. After the 2-2 draw against Chelsea on Saturday, United will be seeking to get back to winning ways, especially after Ross Barkley’s effort took the victory away from them at Stamford Bridge.

United’s season has not been the best, but it has not been the worst either. They are the only English club in the Champions League to have four points after two matches, which is no great feat after two matches, based on who United have played; Young Boys (3-0) and Valencia (0-0). After the victory over Young Boys, United went four matches without a win, losing 3-1 to West Ham United, drawing against Wolverhampton Wanderers (1-1), Derby County (2-2), a penalty defeat, and Valencia (0-0).

The match ahead of the international break, at home to Newcastle United, saw United concede two quick goals in the first half, ended that half 2-0 down. However, goals from Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, and Alexis Sanchez turned this into a 3-2 victory. A positive result against Chelsea followed with Martial scoring both goal at Stamford Bridge. With Juventus coming to the Theatre of Dreams, it does not make anything easier for United. A win will be a great result, a draw would not be the end of the world. A defeat would.

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Pre-Match Thoughts: Cristiano Ronaldo’s homecoming and a big European club in the UEFA Champions League is what Old Trafford is all about…

United have become more of a team in the last two matches then they were in the matches played previous to those. The first half has not been great against both Newcastle and Chelsea, but the second half showing is something to be positive about. United just need to play that way for 90 minutes, as opposed to 45, which may come in the coming weeks and months but needs to come at some point.

United will be buzzing to play big matches at Old Trafford like this, entertaining European elite clubs at the Theatre of Dreams is what it is all about. Having Ronaldo back at the club, albeit just for one night, will be spectacular. Ronaldo has played at Old Trafford once since leaving the club in the summer of 2009, against David Moyes’ side in the Champions League in 2013, a 2-1 defeat, 3-2 on aggregate, which saw United exit the competition. United also played Ronaldo’s Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in 2017.

It will be a great evening of football. United will want to win the match, so will Juventus. It will be a double-header against the Italian side, with the next match being played on Wednesday 7 November 2018. United and Juventus have played each other 12 times in the history of both clubs, both winning five matches, drawing the other two. United have won the last three matches played; 3-2 in 1999, 2-1 and 3-0 in 2003. Fifteen years is a long time though, it will not be an easy game for either side.

Team News: Alexis Sanchez out of contention for Juventus clash; Antonio Valencia involved in training on Monday morning…

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Alexis Sanchez is not in contention to play against Juventus after coming on as a substitute against Chelsea on Saturday. It has been suggested that the Chilean ‘pulled a groin muscle’ against the London club. Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay have all been out of action, some were injured during the international break, some were out before then, none of the players were involved in training on Monday morning.

Mourinho did confirm that the players the media saw in action were the players he has available for the clash with Juventus. Tom Sang, Zak Dearnley and Tahith Chong were all involved in the first team training session, which could mean that some involvement may be seen in the clash on Tuesday evening. Antonio Valencia could be involved again for United. Moises Kean joined the Juventus squad, however, Emre Can, Sami Khedira and Mario Mandzukic were absent. Cristiano Ronaldo will make his Manchester return.

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Predicted Starting XI: Romelu Lukaku to be benched ahead of Juventus clash with other players seemingly having more to give right now?

United will need to find a way to get the better of Juventus at the Theatre of Dreams. With Romelu Lukaku leading the line, that is surely not going to happen. Despite his form for Belgium, playing for United seems to be a different kettle of fish for the striker. Against Chelsea, he seemed more of a hindrance than a help. Having Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial, of both, leading the line might be the better option, giving the Belgian some rest ahead of the Everton clash this weekend.

Juan Mata deserves to be involved after his performance against Chelsea on Saturday. Ander Herrera could be fit to start along with Nemanja Matic, which would see a strong United midfield for the match with former Juventus player Paul Pogba seemingly being one of the first names on the team sheet. The defence is the important factor for United. Chris Smalling will most likely be involved, but will it be Eric Bailly or Victor Lindelof that partners him? The Ivorian is the best option right now.

Match Prediction: Manchester United to nick it against Juventus; a draw would be a good result for both teams…

Jose Mourinho will be seeking a win from this game. It is achievable. Having Cristiano Ronaldo in the team will be a negative factor for United, but it is not impossible to stop him. A win will see United on seven points in the Champions League this season, after three matches, which is a great start. It will also see the positivity, which started after the Newcastle victory continue, even after being robbed of a victory at Stamford Bridge, a draw would have been taken by many before the match.

It is going to be a close match. I reckon there could be one goal in it. Juventus are unbeaten in Serie A and the Champions League this season but have not ripped teams apart. Some suggest that United could fall foul of this but in recent weeks, which the momentum which has been building, there seems to be more positivity than there once was. United are not guaranteed to win all their games, neither are Juventus. This is a clash that will be settled on the night. A draw would be a good result for both teams. United could nick it.

Manchester United 2-1 Juventus

copyright: JW