Old Trafford: Manchester United 0-1 Juventus (Dybala 17′)
Everyone was looking forward to this match. Cristiano Ronaldo was playing against the club in which he showed everyone the plethora of talent that he had to be what he is today. It was an emotional day at the office for the Manchester United fans – who saw their former king return to his former palace – and for Cristiano Ronaldo himself. The fans saw in him, what they have lost in the post-Ferguson Era; a proper talisman, who can bring the team back from the dead, something Manchester United was so prevalent for back in the day. They’re not anymore, and that certainly calls for someone to rise to the occasion. This is because, along with inspiration, that’s what Manchester United need right now. This was one of the many testimonies to that fact. That needs to be addressed to, by Mourinho.
Anyway, to be fair, this wasn’t the most interesting game in the world. Juventus always had the majority of possession, chances, passes, shots, everything. The scoreline could’ve been a lot worse if it wasn’t for the mighty De Gea. Ronaldo could’ve scored a goal or two, too. De Gea didn’t let him get them with two great saves.
Dybala broke the deadlock on the 17th minute when Cristiano Ronaldo put in a cross for Cuadrado to receive but it ultimately fell perfectly for Mr Paulo, who took a fine shot to give his team the lead.
De Gea denied Cristiano on the 37th minute when he took a powerful free kick that required De Gea’s work. Matuidi tried to score off the rebound but De Gea was there to deny him once more.
Manchester United never really hit Juventus with waves of attacks, but whenever they did attack, standing in their way were Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, who put in world-class performances to help Juventus keep a clean sheet against The Red Devils.
“Mr Bonucci and Mr Chiellini could give some Harvard University classes about how to be a central defender.” This was Jose Mourinho’s statement after watching and admiring the work of these two Italian giants.
Cristiano came even closer to scoring on the 52nd minute, before De Gea – who, by far, was the best Manchester United player on the pitch – pulled off a similar save to Ter Stegen’s last weekend, and got the applause he truthfully deserved.
All in all, Mourinho needs to find a solution to this lack of leadership, hunger, and all those things that were the foundations of the Ferguson Era. And that needs to happen fast if we ever want to see the Manchester United of old again.
Sir Alex wouldn’t be so proud of the club he worked so hard to make what it was, when it was at its peak.
Think, Mourinho. Think.