Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United pulled out a perfect smash and grab against Juventus in the Champions League.
Juventus took the lead in Turin courtesy of a superb shot from Cristiano Ronaldo but Man United fought back and won the match 2-1.
It was Juan Mata who put the Red Devils level in the game through a superb freekick and then it was an Alex Sandro own goal which meant Jose Mourinho’s side went back home with all three points.
Juan Mata was brought off the bench to change the scoreline and the little Spaniard did just that.
And now speaking after the match, Mata revealed that he actually had to take permission from Ashley Young who was also poised to take the freekick.
Talking to the club’s official website, Juan Mata said:
“As soon as there was the free-kick in there, I had the confidence that I had to take it,”
“I told Ash: ‘Please let me take it because I can go over the wall.’
“It’s very difficult for the goalkeeper because they don’t see a lot [with the wall so close],
“So I tried to do what I do in training a lot of times, practising, practising. It was important to score to make it 1-1 and, after, it led us to the 1-2. I think because of the venue and the importance of the game, it’s one of the best [that I’ve scored].“We came back and did the most difficult thing, which is scoring twice when you’re losing away against Juventus,”
“Fantastic team, fantastic stadium, great atmosphere, very difficult to play against. But this is football and when you have two dangerous free-kicks you have to make the most of them and we did that in the last five minutes, and it was a very, very positive feeling at the end of the game. When you come back to Manchester after suffering that match – especially in the second half, with some chances for them – with the three points, it’s a big step in the group stage for us.
— Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) November 7, 2018
“You have to try and stay alive in this stadium, even if they have chances and if they push you and push you,
“If you are 1-0 down or 1-1 you have to try to stay alive and take the last chances that you might have, and we have done that today. So you can imagine how the atmosphere in the dressing room is now, and we are very happy as well because we have a lot of fans in that corner [where we scored] as well. So I think they will come back to Manchester with a smile as well.
”I will highlight the passion of the team, the personality of the team, the effort of the team,
“We kept believing we would have one or two chances and maybe score one. A draw is not bad here. But then with Ashley crossing very, very well and I don’t know what happened in the box [for the winner] – it seemed like an own goal or something like that – we get a massive three points.
“There are still two games to play but it’s a massive step for us in terms of trying to qualify.”
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