At Manchester United, were used to scrutiny – Herrera

At Manchester United, we\re used to scrutiny - Herrera

Manchester United news and transfers LIVE Lingard mocks Ronaldo as Deschamps explains Martials France recall

This was poised to be a tribute to the great Cristiano before José Mourinhos side produced a group-stage homage to 1999

Instead of which on a mild, still, occasionally fevered night in Turin United produced a moment of Barcelona-lite, a group stage homage to the triumphs of 1999, turning 1-0 down into 2-1 up in the final four minutes.

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Read more There was even time for some high-grade toxic José Mourinho theatre at the end. First Uniteds manager could be seen waving his arms and stamping his feet like an angry little marionette as Marcus Rashford, through on goal, had the temerity to try to actually score rather than running it into the corner, or hiding in a hole with the ball up his jumper, or poking a passing pensioner in the eye, or whatever else José had in mind.

As the final whistle was blown Mourinho could be seen punching the air furiously. Not a punch of joy, but an actual nose-crushing series of straight rights in his moment of triumph. Finally he marched out on to the pitch and was confronted by Leonardo Bonucci, irresistibly riled by this figure in black, cupping his ear to the crowd, producing a horribly weird, mocking sneer.

A match that had looked like fading out into the mutual handshake of a useful draw with an hour gone had become something else entirely. A match that had looked like becoming a paean to the great Cristiano with 63 minutes gone had become something else again.

And from here there will be a temptation for some to see turning points, thresholds crossed, a sense of ignition for whatever third-season, late-stage José United is supposed to look like. If this is perhaps a leap too far two things are certain. First, this United team produced a display that Mourinho will treasure for its discipline and its hard edges.

And second, this is the best single result of the Mourinho era. Juventus dont lose in Turin. Stretching back to 2003 Juventus had been beaten just once in 35 home Champions League group stage games before last night. The Allianz Stadium is an ugly, remote, strangely impenetrable fortress, shoved in behind a shopping mall moat and a high wire fence. Inside its a magnificent, steeply banked amphitheatre, with its deafening Eurotrash PA, the familiar squeal of AC/DCs Thunderstruck as the home players come out to warm up. Juve under the lights like state-of-the-art stadium rock football. Except, not quite this time.

For the first hour United had been tough and gristly, a team playing an older version of European football, a matter of stilling the crowd and calming the tempo. It is worth remembering who they were up against too, and not just the man Mourinho referred to as that player afterwards. Although, yes, mainly him. There had been a mere six pages on this game in Gazzetta on Wednesday morning, under the heading Il Big Match. Cristiano Ronaldo the sun king, dominated most of it, with Paul Pogbas return little more than a curio.

Read more With 15 minutes gone Ronaldo had taken 10 touches, three of them shots at goal. There were a few moments of dizzyingly fine close control from Paulo Dybala, who appears to have a strangely hypnotic, sensual relationship with the ball. United were quietly playing well. They were compact and calm in their charcoal grey away kit, the kind of colour the artisan paint charts call armadillo breath or autumn toenail. Runs were tracked. A shape was maintained. Ashley Young has become a vocal leader in this team. Before kick-off he went around hugging every one of his teammates and whispering words of succour in their ears. And he was solid and spiky here, a skinny little warrior on that right flank.

When it came Juves opening goal was a masterpiece conjured up out of some steady pressure. It was made by Bonuccis sublime lofted pass, but mainly by the run, Ronaldos feet suddenly pounding the turf like a boxer hitting the speed bag as he drove through the centre of the United defence. As the ball fell, slowly, gently over his shoulder he didnt have to break stride, spanking it with the top of his right foot past David de Gea. He ran to the corner, arms outspread, and raised the hem of his shirt in celebration, rippling those 33-year-old abdominals. And so we remember, at this difficult time, not only Cristianos ab-ripple, but also Pardews dance, its close forebear in the vanity-hubris stakes.

Uniteds change changed the game. Juan Mata floated in a lovely free-kick to score with his third touch. The winner was bundled in from another set piece. United had silenced, and then infuriated, the stadium. And whatever happens from here to this muscular, pared back, increasingly convincing side, they will always have Turin.

Arsene Wenger says it is Paul Pogba‘s “destiny” to be criticised as he is a “great player”.

Pogba is Manchester United’s second top goalscorer this season, with his five strikes only bettered by Anthony Martial’s six.

The Frenchman has still been questioned in most quarters however, and was even named as a Champions League loser this week.

Pogba’s relationship with manager Jose Mourinho has been a particular point of contention – although the pair seem to have put their differences to one side.

Wenger believes their public disputes have led to critics picking sides, with many laying the blame squarely at Pogba’s feet.

“He’s a huge talent and because people expect from him to make the difference and sometimes he doesn’t look always to have a good harmony with his manager, so people are on one side for and one side against,” Wenger told beIN Sports.

“I remember with Glenn Hoddle he was a fantastic football player but England he was questioned.

“I remember Platini was questioned in France, Zidane was questioned in France, Beckham was questioned in England, Scholes was questioned along with Gerrard and Lampard.

“It’s the destiny of the great players to be questioned its that talent to respond and I think he has the mental strength to do it.”

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