Both Manchester clubs are safely through their latest test in the Champions League. Manchester City were expected to put on a confident display against Shakhtar Donetsk at home, while United were up against a more difficult task in the form of Italian champions Juventus.
City won their home game against the Ukrainian side with an impressive 6-0 win that saw their Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus score a hat trick to help his team top Group F.
United meanwhile surprised everyone to come from behind with an unexpected 2-1 win at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, on November 7th.
After witnessing a number of wasted opportunities from both sides, former United and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring for the hosts. Receiving a long through-ball from Italian Leonardo Bonucci, he took a perfect one-touch shot that flew past Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea and into the back of the United net.
With few minutes to spare, it appeared that Juventus were in for another victory over The Red Devils, who lost their previous game to the Italians 1-0. However, United were in for a statement response to reclaim the pride built on three title winning seasons in the past.
First, it was Juan Mata, the Spanish and former Chelsea midfielder, who secured the equaliser through a well-executed free kick from the edge of the box, the ball curling, unreachable, into the top left corner of the goal.
Then it was Juventus’ highly rated Brazilian fullback Alex Sandro who conceded an own goal to give United the lead and the winner in the 89th minute, bringing them back into contention for the top two spots in Group H.
As reported by AP, Juve still leads the group by two points from Man United, and it is two more points back to Valencia, who beat visiting Young Boys 3-1. United can advance by beating Young Boys at home on November 27th.
Back in Manchester itself, City were in control of their own destiny from minute one, dominating possession at 62%, while having 15 shots on target.
The Citizens’ victory, which saw the names of David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez added to the score sheet, cemented their position at the top of their own group, as neither Lyon or Hoffenheim were able to earn more than a point in their 2-2 draw in France.