When a little more than nine years ago Manchester United closed an agreement with Real Madrid to transfer to Cristiano Ronaldo marked a point that has not returned, it became a selling club. Since then it has acquired footballers worth 1,030 million euros and maintains a balance between income and expenses in which the last win by almost 800 million, almost ten times more than what was paid by the Portuguese star. In that time United has won two Leagues, the last one five years ago, one Cup and one Europa League. Cristiano Ronaldo was able to perceive him in his return to Old Trafford: the team not only got off the first step of European football but could hardly be placed in the second. To this day, he does not present weapons or to consider him as a outsider in the Champions League and looks like they will play the pass to the round of 16 in a direct match against Valencia at Mestalla. Meanwhile Juventus, who beat him at home (0-1), put the direct to the playoffs with three wins in as many days and without conceding goal.
Sale Douglas Costa
Federico Bernardeschi leaves
For several minutes Juventus played as if attacked by a certain perplexity. It is not common to jump into Old Trafford and find the owner wanders around as a modest team. Manchester United's plan was to become gregarious, to apply it as perfectly as it was rude. Mourinho managed to look more Italian than Juventus. The deployment was also especially pathetic because they scored at minute 19 and nothing changed. United played the same in the draw as in the defeat, withdrawn, without greed in the pressure. If the plan was to wait, steal and run none of that worked because the second premise was missing and without it the only race left is the reverse gear. Old Trafford endured all that misery with admirable integrity, enthusiastic when his team put together four passes or caused a corner, as if the one defending them was a Maltese or Gibraltar team against a big man from Europe. Manchester United have played seven games in the last month and barely won one, with comeback in extremis against Newcastle.
Juventus exercised its work. He rode a rondo without greater virtuosity, dominated without flaw or problems and found depth and breadth on the flanks, especially by Cancelo. He did not need the best of the versions of Cristiano Ronaldo, who starting from the left fell towards areas of auction, but without finishing sticking with Dybala, who entered the team due to Mandzukic's injury. The two teams had absences. Juve lacked the Croatian gladiator, Emre Can or Khedira; United did not have Alexis, Fellaini and Lingard.
The game did not seem like a matter of names and of collective functioning. The one behind Manchester United is a tare, soft, slow, unreliable. He conceded a goal for lack of force after exercising extreme CR, porfiar Square and finish Dybala at pleasure. De Gea corrects. In the last four years he has been chosen as the best player on his team, a warning. This time it was their stops that kept United in the game. Frustrated Cancelo, Matuidi, Cristiano on set pieces and in play already in the second half with a postcard clearance.
At that point, neighboring the hour of game, the United raised lines. It was not exactly uncovering, but it was something like a display. At least he prevented his rival from executing long possessions and, what still harmed him more, to finish them. He began to sisar balls, to evolve several meters later. The response from Juventus went through the patience, secured the pass and cut off the transgression feint that peeked at his opponent. If Mourinho's plan was to run, he forgot to give his boys shoes.
Juventus was not interested in going out at a gallop. Allegri asked for passes to his team. When he stopped giving them, he rushed or missed he put himself at risk. And he insisted on doing it. A poor control of Betancur in the front caused a shot by Pogba to the post. It was the call his team needed, his people. He arrived a quarter of an hour from the end and forced Allegri to react. Dybala left the field for Bernardeschi to give more presence to the team in circulation. Barzagli called to replace Cuadrado and populate the rear with three centrals. He prepared to suffer Juventus, but who really did was the respectable Old Trafford, who had to endure a horror. He did so with such dedication and generosity that in the end, in defeat and palmaria inferiority, there were hardly any murmurs among the Italian celebration.