Manchester (England): Juventus defeated Manchester United 1-0 to take a commanding lead in Champions League Group H as Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford for only the second time since he left in 2009. Juve, with 9 points from three matches, are 5 points ahead of second-place United with three games to play in the group stage, reports Efe news agency.
Embattled United coach Jose Mourinho opted to concede possession to the visitors here on Tuesday night and the eventual winner came in the 16th minute off a build-up that began with a Joao Cancelo pass to Ronaldo, who directed a cross to Juan Cuadrado. United’s Chris Smalling deflected Cuadrado’s shot into the near post, but Paulo Dybala was waiting for the rebound and put the ball past keeper David De Gea. The Red Devils stuck to their conservative approach and De Gea was forced to make a stop against Cancelo in the dying seconds of the first half.
The Spanish international was tested again right after the break and produced a tremendous save to deny Ronaldo. As the minutes passed, the crowd at Old Trafford took charge of the strategy, urging their heroes to go forward, but Juve remained sound at the back and United’s first real chance of the night came only in the 75th minute, when Paul Pogba hit the post with a blast from outside the area. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri sent in defensive midfielder Andrea Barzagli to shut down the long-ball threat and the visitors took all 3 points.