Two late goals complete stunning Man United turnaround against Juventus

Yahoo Sport UK
Juan Mata celebrates after scoring for Manchester United
Juan Mata celebrates after scoring for Manchester United

Manchester United completed the ultimate smash-and-grab by scoring two late goals to beat Juventus 2-1 and blow open their Champions League group.

With only one win from their opening three Champions League games, and fresh from being dismantled by their opponents at Old Trafford in their last outing, the last place Jose Mourinho wanted to play needing a result was in Turin.

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AS IT HAPPENED: Juventus 1 Manchester United 2

READ MORE: Mourinho escorted from the pitch after goading Juve fans

As if they needed it, there was added pressure for United before kick off: Group H rivals Valencia beat Young Boys 3-1 in the early match to leapfrog Mourinho’s men into second place before they’d even kicked a ball.

And for the vast majority of the match, it looked like the pressure on Jose Mourinho was going to increase, especially when Cristiano Ronaldo gave Juventus a deserved lead when he scored a wonderful volley after 65 minutes.

Ronaldo’s goal was a thing of beauty as he hit a volley from a ball over his shoulder
Ronaldo’s goal was a thing of beauty as he hit a volley from a ball over his shoulder

The former Manchester United striker scored his first Champions League goal for his new team when he volleyed Leonardo Bonucci’s sublime ball over the top beyond David De Gea, and it looked almost certain Juventus were going to come away with all three points.

However, in a hectic finale United scored two goals in the final five minutes to snatch a scarcely-believable win.

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Juan Mata looked to have given Jose Mourinho’s men a hard-earned point with a wonderful free-kick in the 86th minute, but an Alex Sandro own goal from a second United dead ball three minutes later gave the Red Devils a barely deserved three points.

The result was all the more remarkable because United had created barely anything of note until that point.

Chaos reigned as some goal-line pinball resulted in the winner for United
Chaos reigned as some goal-line pinball resulted in the winner for United

Despite a much improved performance defensively, Mourinho’s side were once toothless on attack and looked long odds on scoring even once, let alone twice.

Both sides had made a cagey start with United content to sit back and defend in numbers. They managed to see out the opening half hour with De Gea relatively comfortable in goal.

Eventually though, the Old Lady put the squeeze on and De Gea had to be alert after Juan Cuadrado’s shot took a wicked deflection off Nemanja Matic.

Sami Khedira then should have put Juve in front, but he could only put Ronaldo’s cut back on to the post as United’s defence watched on.

When Paulo Dybala then struck the post with a wonderful, curling, dipping effort from the edge of the box you thought United might escape with a hard-earned cleansheet.

Dybala missed one of Juve’s several gilt-edged chances
Dybala missed one of Juve’s several gilt-edged chances

But then Ronaldo stamped his mark on the game with his wonderful intervention on the hour mark. As Bonucci’s ball dropped over his right shoulder, the Portuguese met it with his laces and left De Gea a mere spectator.

It was a moment of quality which deserved to be the winning moment and Juve should have killed the match once and for all after taking the lead.

United’s keeper brilliantly denied Miralem Pjanic and then Cuadrado somehow curled a shot over the bar when it seemed easier to score.

And Juventus were left ruing those misses, but hardly any could have predicted what would unfold in the final five minutes as United snatched victory.

Having watched it unfold in front of them, many of the Juventus fans seemed unable to believe what they’d seen as the final whistle blew.


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