Manchester United struggled to make the most of their home advantage as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Juventus in their third game of the Champions League group stage. The Red Devils barely threatened the opposition goal barring one effort from Paul Pogba and the match was eventually decided by a close-range strike from Paulo Dybala in the 17th minute.
With the loss, United remain second in Group H with four points on the board but their prospects of topping the standings appear bleak with the Bianconeri holding a five-point advantage. The Serie A holders can now assure themselves of the top position when United make the trip to Turin in a fortnight’s time.
Two things we learned:
Paulo Dybala continues his good form in Europe: Paulo Dybala may have found it hard to impress in the Serie A this campaign but this has not been the case in Europe where he has netted four times in the space of the previous two matches. After bagging a hat-trick against Young Boys, Dybala continued his good run with a 17th-minute strike versus United which came about from a lucky deflection of a Juan Cuadrado shot. With Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival, Dybala has found himself garnering lesser attention when compared to the previous campaign and this seems to have recently brought the best of his abilities especially in the Champions League. The Argentine could have quite easily scored a brace but he managed to squander a wonderful opportunity of converting with his head before his match-winning strike.
David de Gea and Victor Lindelof impress for United: United may have been pretty average in terms of their attacking play but there were certainly kept busy at the back with a number of key blocks and interceptions. As usual, De Gea was kept moving between the sticks to keep the scoreline respectable and he was equally assisted by Lindelof, who was solid at the heart of the defence. The Swede was guilty of leaving the space behind which Dybala capitalised for the winning goal but besides that, he managed to sort himself with him being able to restrict a number of efforts on goal. Still, the centre-back may need to work on his positioning and decision-making after finding himself higher up the field early on when he was required to assist Smalling with the defensive duties in the box.
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