Paulo Dybala scored the only goal of the game on Tuesday evening as Juventus defeated Manchester United 1-0 on Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford.
The Argentine scored a tap-in as the Italians continued their perfect record in the UEFA Champions League against Mourinho’s stuttering Red Devils.
Dybala tap-in gives Juve early lead
All of the pre-match headlines were surrounding Ronaldo and it was the Portuguese who nearly set up the opening goal. He raced away from the United defence and put in an excellent cross to Dybala. The Argentine unfortunately headed wide.
That duo was key in Juventus’ opener only minutes later. Ronaldo, afforded way too much space on the right-flank, whipped in an excellent cross towards Juan Cuadrado. Chris Smalling did excellently to stab the ball away from the Colombian but it only served to find Dybala only yards out and he finished coolly to slot past David De Gea.
De Gea saves Red Devils yet again
The Spaniard had to be at his best throughout the first half to keep United’s deficit to only one. He was forced into an excellent, low save to stop Joao Cancelo from doubling the advantage at Old Trafford after the defender had played a quick one-two with Ronaldo.
De Gea was again in brilliant form as he at first denied Ronaldo from a free-kick after he had been fouled by Ashley Young. The rebound fell to midfielder Blaise Matuidi and the Frenchman aimed for the top corner only for the United stopper to put out an instinctive hand out to paw the ball away.
Bianconeri get ever closer to a second
The hosts again struggled to really threaten in the second period. Ronaldo went close to finding the net after a wicked Juventus move saw him link up with Cuadrado before narrowly firing over the crossbar. Cancelo also went near to making it 2-0 but had his low effort blocked by Luke Shaw.
De Gea, United’s key performer throughout the evening on a tough night, was very quickly off of his line to snuff out another Juventus attack with Ronaldo bearing down on goal.
United yet again lack bite in attack
With the Portuguese getting closer and closer to finding the net, it was the other headline maker, Paul Pogba, who was unfortunate not to score. The ex-Juventus midfielder lined up a shot from distance but his curling effort hit the post. The ball cannoned back off of the upright before striking the back of Wojciech Szczęsny’s head and dribbling away to safety.
Despite attempting to defend their lead throughout the closing stages, Max Allegri’s troops went close to a second in the final minute of normal time. Leonardo Bonucci came out of defence and unleashed a brilliant strike from distance that went only inches over the crossbar. However, it was only one goal that they needed as they celebrated an excellent victory at Old Trafford.
In all, Juventus’ victory at Old Trafford was hugely deserved. The Italian outfit were far more fearsome in attack and could have struck more had it not been for the perpetual brilliance of David De Gea. The Red Devils were stifled throughout the evening by an excellent Juventus defence and will look to improve as they renew rivalries with the Italian champions in two weeks time.
Manchester United: De Gea (8); Shaw (6), Lindelöf (5), Smalling (6), Young (6); Pogba (6), Matic (6); Martial (6), Mata (6), Rashford (5); Lukaku (5).
Juventus: Szczesny (7); Alex Sandro (6), Chiellini (8), Bonucci (7), Cancelo (7) (Costa (N/A), 87′); Matuidi (6), Pjanic (7), Bentancur (6); Cuadrado (6) (Barzagli (N/A), 82′), Dybala (7) (Bernardeschi (N/A), 78′), Ronaldo (8).
Goals: Dybala (17′)
Referee: Milorad Mazic
Yellow Cards: Matuidi (59′), Young (77′), Chiellini (82′)
Red Cards: N/A
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