Ronaldo 1 Manchester United 2
Ronaldo 65 Mata 86 Alex Sandro o.g 91
The first half was a very gutsy performance by United, who knew they were in danger of being outclassed.
It was 0-0 at half-time and still 0-0 after an hour, after Paulo Dybala had bounced a dipper off the crossbar in 49.
Then Pjanic, just inside the United half, flighted a straight pass over the top and Ronaldo spurted onto a ball coming from behind him and, demonstrating perfect anticipation and sublime balance, volleyed inside the post for the only goal of the game in 65.
Or so I thought. That was the game, I figured.
Ronaldo is the guv’nor because he’s now scored 122 goals in the Champions League.
He’s a veteran gladiator with freak abilities and supreme focus. He made what he did look very simple but I thought it was the best goal I’ve seen this season. The only footballer I’ve ever seen who could have timed that run AND produced that finish was Pele.
I thought: Game over! Definitely.
Then Mourinho brought on Fellaini and Mata and then Pogba craftily won a free-kick in the D and sub Juan Mata lifted it sweetly over the wall for 1-1.
Then came a fiercely whipped free-kick from Ashley Young. The ball flew wickedly towards three players and hit Bonucci and then hit left back Alex Sandro and went over the line for a priceless 2-1 win by United, who have now qualified for the Round of 16 after four games.
Rashford, played in by Martial during a counter-attack, hit Wojciech Szczesny’s leg right at the death.
A very tight game mostly controlled by the Italian professionals until the bold visitors from Manchester scored two late goals.
Football is so unpredictable, I thought.
But I had liked he formation the Special One used: 4-2-3-1 with Alexis Sanchez up top and Pogba free in the three with Matic-Herrera sitting.
Then I realised I’d won both my bets: Ronaldo Anytime and Over 2.5 Goals.
I won’t remember winning those bets. But I’ll definitely remember The Greatest Goal Ever Scored By Juventus In A Game They Lost.
And what a comeback!
Juventus 1 Manchester United 2 was their first home defeat in a Champions League game since December 2009.