Manchester United Stun Juventus in Italy
With five minutes to go in Italy last night, Manchester United looked to be in a little bit of trouble as far as qualifying for the next round of the Champions League went. However, a stunning turn around that started with a Juan Mata goal in the 86th minute, followed by an own goal in the 89th minute was enough to give United the win and a vital three points. The win also prevented Juventus from claiming top spot in the group, they will have to wait a little longer to do that.
While the headlines have certainly gone to Manchester United, had the game not ended with them winning, we would have all been talking about the goal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo. It put Juventus ahead, and was a fantastic volley, as well as being a timely reminder of just how good he still is. Juve pressed and had other chances that would have put the game to bed, but they were unable to convert.
United never really looked like threatening them, but substitute Mata gave them a lifeline with a nice free kick, curled into the back of the net. At that point the stuffing was knocked out of Juventus, and United looked comfortable in their search for a point from the game. However, a late own goal meant they went one better, and won the game. This was a huge moment for them in their Champions League qualification group, putting them back in pole position ahead of Valencia to qualify beind Juventus.
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Manchester United now hold a two point cushion over Valencia, and if the next round of games goes as planned for them, then they will be confirmed as qualifying for the next round. United host Young Boys, who are currently bottom of the group, while Valencia have to travel to Italy to face leaders Juventus. A win for United and anything other than a win for Valencia and United are in the next round. The bookmakers expect those things to happen, United are priced up at 27/100 to beat Young Boys, with their Swiss visitors priced up at 9/1. The other game has a similar feel to it, Juventus are the strong 4/9 favourites, while Valencia are available to back at 11/2.