Manchester United's love affair with late comebacks continues in Turin
From 2004 to 2009, the world saw a Manchester United side, which had established itself as comeback kings. At the heart of that team was a rising superstar who went by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo. The heartthrob of Manchester has given reasons to the fans to cheer across Europe.
Slowly but steadily they were cruising to be the best team in the world. But United's tryst with destiny was about to happen. Real Madrid came calling and took away their most cherished asset. With his departure, Manchester United players and fans were devastated. The moral of the team took a hit and as a result, the beginning of their downfall started.
After the retirement of Alex Ferguson, the situation went from bad to worse. In a very short span, Manchester United saw a series of managerial changes in an effort to restabilize the mission and vision of the team. Until Jose Mourinho took over, things were grim at United.
Since Mourinho has taken over the managerial role, it seems things are improving. However, the results in the Premier League and the Champions League are still wayward. Manchester United will have to travel a long road before they find back their glory days.
The trademark Manchester United comebacks were becoming stories of past until this season. In the current campaign, the team seems to be in the process of finding back the never give up attitude.
Juventus generally don't lose at their own fortress in Turin. However, Wednesday night the world observed the unthinkable. A collapse in a span of four forgettable minutes for the home side handed United the boost they were looking for since the beginning of the season.
With an hour gone the match was crawling as if a dull draw is in store for the audience. However, Leonardo Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo had other ideas. First, Bonucci produced a long cross which could unarguably fit into the textbook of football theories on how to deliver such passes. Secondly, Ronaldo pounced on the pass and delivered a stunning finish with a first-time volley keeping the merit of the pass. These are the beautiful magical moments that put Football as one of the greatest sport.
Cristiano's celebrations, however, didn't keep the merit of the goal. He should have shown some respect to his fanbase of Manchester. He did, but apologetically after realising his mistake.
Then Mourinho and Manchester United were forced to go for their Plan B and do the necessary tactical changes. To keep themselves alive in the Champions League, they could not have afforded to come out empty-handed from the Italian fortress.
Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini were unleashed in desperate need of the equalizer. Juan Mata, who is slowly grooming himself into the role of the leader of the comeback kings, came out with another magical moment. A Messi-esque freekick taken from just outside the box went over the wall of Juventus players, successfully flummoxed the final barrier in the form of Wojciech Szczęsny and went straight into the back of the net.
The goal restored the confidence of the United players as they started to penetrate the rattled Juventus defence with their changed formation. The Bianconeri were bamboozled by the Manchester United counter and in a moment of brain fade, they conceded an own goal. Ashley Young took the free kick from the edge of the left wing targeting Fellaini, that went beating everyone in the process and Alex Sandro helped it to change its direction, although unfortunately so that Turin no longer remains invincible.
The Red Devils themselves couldn't believe it for a moment and when realized, they were unstoppable in the celebrations. Jose Mourinho's celebrations irked the Allianz Stadium, but whatever it was, Mourinho will take it as he and his team are now alive and finding their feet back amongst the European elites.
After Cristiano Ronaldo's masterpiece, this was unexpected from Juventus who are renowned to have one of the greatest defences in the world. This could be considered as the homage paid by the United team to CR7 who helped them believe in managing comebacks. This could lead to the rise of the Manchester United in the Premier League and Champions League which could be a concern for the other teams across Europe.