Manchester United Complete Late Comeback to Beat Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2018

TURIN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 07: Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United and Miralem Pjanic of Juventus battle for the ball during the Group H match of the UEFA Champions League between Juventus and Manchester United at  on November 7, 2018 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Manchester United ended Juventus' unbeaten start to the 2018-19 season with a 2-1 win in the UEFA Champions League in Turin on Wednesday. Cristiano Ronaldo got the opener, but Juan Mata and an own goal from Alex Sandro turned the match on its head.  

The Bianconeri dominated most of the contest and deservedly took a lead when Ronaldo dispatched a perfect volley. The hosts failed to add a second goal, however, and were made to rue their misses late. Mata equalised with a free-kick before Sandro put the ball past his own goalkeeper in the final minutes.

The result leaves the Red Devils in second place in Group H behind Juventus, while Valencia are third. All three teams can still qualify for the next round. 


United Need to Sell Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez started Wednesday's contest in a central role due to the absence of Romelu Lukaku and knew he was in for a rough outing against the duo of Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.

The two were standouts at Old Trafford and are widely regarded as one of the best defensive pairings in the sport. But despite the tempered expectations, Sanchez still disappointed, barely featuring in proceedings and getting subbed for Marouane Fellaini with his team in dire need of goals.

Former manager Arsene Wenger gave his views on why the Chilean continues to struggle:


"I believe he has lost confidence." Wenger explains why Alexis Sánchez has lost his way at Manchester United since leaving Arsenal. #beINUCL #MUFC https://t.co/llFWTjkkzb

The fact this comeback came about after he got subbed is but the latest setback for the former Arsenal man. Sanchez's confidence is shot, and there doesn't appear to be a way back for the 29-year-old.

A January departure seems the best for all involved at this point. It would give Sanchez the opportunity to rebuild his career and confidence elsewhere while opening up a spot for a much-needed creative player for United.


Juventus Need Ruthless Edge to Succeed in Champions League

The Bianconeri entered this match unbeaten in all competitions, having dropped points just once in Serie A. Fans of the team were anything but satisfied, however, as the Italian champions have been flirting with defeat for weeks now.

The team's inability to put opponents away has been a talking point for some time. During the weekend they had to wait until Juan Cuadrado bagged a third against Cagliari before they could really celebrate, and wins over United and Empoli all came with just a one-goal difference.

The approach had already cost them against Genoa, who bagged a 1-1 draw in Turin, but it really hurt the team on Wednesday. Per Chiellini it had been coming:

footballitalia @footballitalia

Giorgio Chiellini admits #Juventus "had been threatening this sort of mess for a while" after fumbling lead against #MUFC https://t.co/SkBeDVt2RZ #JuveMUFC #UCL https://t.co/Ypk6Gdfzt3

Perhaps this could be the wake-up call the Bianconeri need, and Massimiliano Allegri's troops will learn from this and improve. If not, their European dreams for this season may not amount to much. 


What's Next?

Juventus visit AC Milan on Sunday, while United face rivals Manchester City on the road the same day.