Based on the tone of the two British announcers during the course of the proceedings, you would have thought that Juventus allowing a goal in the Champions League this season was going to be deemed borderline illegal. They gave off the impression that United getting a goal was never going to happen simply based on the fact that Juve hadn’t allowed a goal through their first three group stage games.
Juventus let Manchester United hang around and hang around and hang around. And what happened? It came back to bite Juve right on its black-and-white backside. Two preventable free kicks led to United not just stealing three points right under the nose of Juventus as they imploded within the span off about four minutes. United got the 2-1 win Wednesday night when it looked like they couldn’t really do much of anything right and delayed Juve’s celebrations when it came to advancing to the Champions League Round of 16.
So much for talking all about that pass from Leonardo Bonucci to Cristiano Ronaldo and the goal that Juve’s two big summer signings combined to create for at least 10,000 words in this post-game thread.
Kaboom went the thread as Bonucci, Alex Sandro and Wojciech Szczesny all combined to allow United to get one of the ugliest game-winning goals you’ll ever see at Allianz Stadium.
And kaboom went Juventus’ chances of beating Manchester United for the second time within the span of two weeks.
You can be mad at how Max Allegri approached the second half after Juve got the lead.
I just wanna throw this out there for everybody to digest:
Juventus attempted 23 total shots against Manchester United on Wednesday night.
United’s very talented and very good goalkeeper, David De Gea, had to make all of THREE saves the entire night.
This wasn’t one of those games where Juventus don’t create anything and we’re left to sit here and wonder what the hell happened to the attack. Miralem Pjanic hit the woodwork twice. Juan Cuadrado could have put the game away shortly after Ronaldo’s wondergoal, but instead blased a shot from 10 yards out over the goal with room to spare. Paulo Dybala and Rodrigo Bentancur had a couple of shots just go whizzing past De Gea’s goal.
If Juve’s rolladex of talented attacking options and all that do what we’ve seen them do plenty of times prior, we’re not in this situation. Juventus players aren’t left to explain why they imploded in the final five minutes of regular time. Juventus players aren’t getting mocked and into arguments with Jose Mourinho after the final whistle sounded.
Instead, we got what we got.
Juventus are still the group leaders in Group H. Juventus can still book their ticket to the Round of 16 with a positive result next time out against Valencia in a couple of weeks. Juventus will still probably advance to the knockout rounds and are still the favorite to win the group based on where they are after four group stage games.
But, man. Juve were up 1-0 after 85 minutes and lost 2-1. If that doesn’t sting, I don’t know what does.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- So many talented players and Manchester United just play such boring football. It’s almost like it’s the manager’s fault at this point.
- I spent a decent chunk of the match preview talking about Joao Cancelo. Well, Joao Cancelo didn’t play. Instead, it was Mattia De Sciglio starting at right back. And, yeah, MDS is what he is going forward, but he rarely put a foot wrong
- Maybe something health-wise happened with De Sciglio that caused him to be subbed off with less than 10 minutes to go. But man, bringing on Andrea Barzagli didn’t go well, did it?
- I don’t know how many times I thought between the second Blaise Matuidi committed the foul at the top of the box and Juan Mata connecting with the ball “I really hope this doesn’t come back to haunt Juventus,” but every single of one of those thoughts proved to be right on the freakin’ money. Dammit ... dammit all to hell.
- There is a picture in our photo tool where Paul Pogba is absolutely dusting Sami Khedira and running right past him. That pretty much sums things up, doesn’t it?
- Ronaldo needs to stop taking free kicks for a little while. I’ve seen enough of him doing his iconic staredown of the opposing goal and then blasting a shot into the wall. It’s not like the Nos. 2 and 3 free kick options are terrible. They’re just guys named Miralem Pjanic and Paulo Dybala.
- A positive thought: Rodrigo Bentancur’s galloping forward runs give me life.
- I’m wondering why Mario Mandzukic wasn’t brought on sooner. This was something I thought of even before United’s late-game comeback happened. Why not bring Mr. No Good on when United’s defense is wobbling and you need a goal to put them away?
- The thinking that Juventus’ biggest enemy so far this season has been Juventus continues to be right on point. Congrats, guys. Now stop beating yourselves and win games you’re supposed to win, please.
- There’s 850 or so words on a rage write. See you guys this weekend.