MANCHESTER: Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford proved hazardous for Manchester United as Juventus won 1-0 against the Red Devils in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Although Ronaldo wasn’t able to book a goal on his scoresheet but played a vital supporting role by helping set up Paulo Dybala’s winner on 17 minutes as Juventus registered a five-point lead over United at the top of Group H.
It was David de Gea whose excellent saves prevented the margin of defeat is far more excellent for the hosts than the pace they gained after fightbacks against Newcastle and Chelsea in the Premier League.
After a fourth defeat of the season, Mourinho suggested United needs to invest more in the transfer market to get to Juventus level.
Juventus spent 112 million euros for a 33-year old Ronaldo in July and also manage to bring Leonardo Bonucci back in just a year after selling the Italian international to AC Milan.
Ronaldo’s welcome to Old Trafford was a bit muted but the faithful United fans knows the value of the Portuguese player as he scored 118 goals for United between 2003 and 2009 to help the Red Devils win three Premier League titles and the first of his five Champions League. He was applauded off the field at the end of the game after taking a selfie with a pitch invader, who was hauled away by a security staff.
Ronaldo didn’t play his winner card but instead, he played the role of a provider for Dybala to be the winner of the match.
“The forwards moved a lot and caused their defence a few problems, but we missed the final pass too many times, especially in the second half,” said Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri.
“However, we are satisfied mostly because we are continuing to grow, especially concerning confidence, and that allowed us to impose our game in this difficult stadium.”
De Gea made some excellent saves but he made the best use of his gloves and position to stop Ronaldo from scoring his first Champions League goal seven minutes into the second half.