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Ronaldo scores as Juventus beats AC Milan 2-0

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Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo scored as Juventus beat AC Milan to move six points clear at the top of the Serie A table.

Mandzukic opened the scoring in the eighth minute, towering over the back of Ricardo Rodriguez and heading in an Alex Sandro cross. Juventus dominated the match, ripping off 15 shots to AC Milan’s five, and Ronaldo finally finished it off in the 81st minute as Joao Cancelo’s shot from a tight angle was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, and the rebound fell right to the Portuguese star who couldn’t miss on the doorstep.

On the other side, Gonzalo Higuain faced his parent club for the first time since moving to AC Milan on loan this summer, and he had a rough day. Higuain had a penalty saved in the 41st minute, with Wojciech Szczesny coming up big after VAR awarded a spot-kick for a Medhi Benatia handball. Before Higuain took the penalty, Ronaldo – his former teammate at Real Madrid – was seen giving whispering something to Szczesny, presumably some advice on potentially defending Higuain’s take.

Then, in the 83rd minute, after receiving a yellow card for a challenge with Benatia, Higuain went absolutely berserk, at which point he was immediately sent off by referee Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni. It took forever for players to calm Higuain down as he tried to shake off teammates and opponents and get to the referee.

The presence of Benatia in the lineup was in and of itself a talking point even before kickoff, as Juventus manager Maximiliano Allegri dropped fellow center-back Leonardo Bonucci in favor of the Moroccan. Bonucci was sat against his former club, having departed Juventus last summer before returning after just one year.

With the loss, Milan now sits outside the Champions League places in fifth, a point back of Lazio and four behind rivals Inter.

Ronaldo, Chiellini: “We had been in total control” before Man Utd comeback

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To say Juventus feels a bit stung by Manchester United’s smash-and-grab in Turin is an understatement.

The hosts were in control of the match for most of the 90 minutes, going ahead through a sensational Cristiano Ronaldo goal in the 65th minute.

[ MORE: Recap | Mourinho reaction ]

But substitute Juan Mata curled a delightful free kick past Juve keeper Wojciech Szczesny, and the Italians bungled a late Ashley Young effort for an own goal in a 2-1 loss, their first at home in a group stage match since 2009.

All told, Juve out-attempted United 21-9, with both clubs registered three shots on target.

“Manchester United did nothing to win the game,” Ronaldo said. “You can’t even talk about luck, because you have to find your own luck and in this case we just gifted it to them.

“Now we’ve got to lift our heads, as we played really well and are still top of the group. … Manchester didn’t do much, they had two chances on set pieces. I know English teams are always looking for set pieces.”

One of Ronaldo’s defenders, Giorgio Chiellini, sounded equally unimpressed.

“We had been in total control, but were very wasteful and forgot the details, because we knew where Manchester United could be dangerous,” said Chiellini. “If we’re going to lose Champions League games like this, it’s best we do it now rather than later on.”

Manager Max Allegri shared similar thoughts, adding that he felt the loss was okay because it was “the least important game” of the group stage.

That’s still a bit weird, considering the away game at United would’ve traditionally been viewed as such (although they did have that win in pocket when Allegri made his comments). From Football-Italia.net:

“I think it’ll do us good in the long run, as we need to learn not to fall asleep in these situations. I saw Manchester United play the same way in the Premier League at the weekend, they did very little for 80 minutes and then won in very similar circumstances.”

Champions League wrap: Real breaks out for five, Roma keeps pace

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What a day!

We’ve written it before, but this season’s UEFA Champions League has brought loads of entertainment on nearly every match day.

[ MORE: Kane backs Rooney for captain ]

Wednesday was no different, with last-minute drama in Italy and France.


Bayern Munich 2-0 AEK Athens

Robert Lewandowski scored twice, first with a penalty, then with a header, as the reigning German champions are within a result of the knockout rounds.

Benfica 1-1 Ajax

The Dusan Tadic signing continues to pay dividends, as the Serbian star’s 61st minute goal leveled things in Portugal after Jonas gave Benfica a halftime lead.

Group E
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Bayern Munich 4 3 1 0 7 1 6 1-1-0 2-0-0 10
Ajax 4 2 2 0 6 2 4 2-0-0 0-2-0 8
Benfica 4 1 1 2 4 6 -2 0-1-1 1-0-1 4
AEK Athens 4 0 0 4 2 10 -8 0-0-2 0-0-2 0

Manchester City 6-0 Shakhtar Donetsk RECAP

Gabriel Jesus struck for three, including two penalties, as Man City ran all over the visiting Ukrainian powers at the Etihad Stadium. David Silva scored and starred again, as did two-goal man Raheem Sterling.

Lyon 2-2 Hoffenheim

If these two draw each other in any competition, buckle up. After a 3-3 draw in Germany two weeks ago, Lyon opened up a 2-0 lead at halftime through Nabil Fekir and Tanguy Ndombele. But Andrej Kramaric scored in the 65th minute to set up Pavel Kaderabek’s stunning equalizer in stoppage time.

Group F
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Manchester City 4 3 0 1 12 3 9 1-0-1 2-0-0 9
Lyon 4 1 3 0 9 8 1 0-2-0 1-1-0 6
1899 Hoffenheim 4 0 3 1 8 9 -1 0-1-1 0-2-0 3
Shakhtar Donetsk 4 0 2 2 4 13 -9 0-1-1 0-1-1 2

CSKA Moscow 1-2 AS Roma

Arnor Sigurdsson’s 50th minute goal briefly gave the hosts level footing following Kostas Manolas’ fourth minute opener, but Lorenzo Pellegrini nabbed a winner for i Lupi in the 59th minute to stay level with Real on nine points.

Viktoria Plzen 0-5 Real Madrid

Santiago Solari’s Champions League debut as manager went pretty well, with Karim Benzema scoring twice en route to a 4-0 halftime lead for Real. Gareth Bale, Casemiro, and Toni Kroos also scored for the group leaders, who visit Rome on Nov. 27.

Group G
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Real Madrid 4 3 0 1 10 2 8 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
Roma 4 3 0 1 10 4 6 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
CSKA Moscow 4 1 1 2 4 7 -3 1-0-1 0-1-1 4
Viktoria Plzen 4 0 1 3 3 14 -11 0-1-1 0-0-2 1

Valencia 3-1 Young Boys

Santi Mina scored twice as the Spanish hosts stayed within striking distance of Manchester United.

Juventus 1-2 Manchester UnitedRECAP

Cristiano Ronaldo scored an absolute beauty, which has largely been lost in the sauce of United’s furious five-minute comeback and Jose Mourinho’s mostly hilarious post-match antics (Not sporting? Of course not, but don’t deny us the humor of it). So, wow, here it is:

Group H
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Juventus 4 3 0 1 7 2 5 1-0-1 2-0-0 9
Manchester United 4 2 1 1 5 2 3 0-1-1 2-0-0 7
València 4 1 2 1 4 4 0 1-0-1 0-2-0 5
Young Boys 4 0 1 3 2 10 -8 0-1-1 0-0-2 1

Man Utd stuns Juve with late comeback

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  • Ronaldo puts Juve ahead
  • Substitute Mata levels with free kick
  • Young cross turns into late Juve o.g.
  • De Gea stars

Juan Mata froze Wojciech Szczesny with a free kick, and a hopeful Ashley Young cross turned into a match-winning own goal for Manchester United in a 2-1 defeat of Juventus in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

Jose Mourinho walked onto the field after the final whistle and cupped his hand to his ear before engaging in arguments with Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala.

United trailed 1-0 in the 86th minute and becomes the first team to beat Juve in a group stage match in Turin since 2009.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a pretty goal of his own for Juve, who stays atop Group H with nine points. United has seven, two more than Valencia, with two matches to play.

[ MORE: Champions League scores ]

Both teams had chances to threaten goal and plenty of decent possession in the first half hour.

Sami Khedira stung the palms of David De Gea with an otherwise unremarkable shot in the 32nd.

De Gea made a fine save moments later as Juve ratcheted up its pressure, and then got help from the goal post when Khedira half-hit a point blank chance.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Paulo Dybala curled a pretty left-footed effort off the cross bar as the second half found its legs early.

Alex Sandro bladed Ashley Young during a United buildup, and saw yellow for his troubles in the 55th minute

Ronaldo got his goal in Willie Mays style, watching a long ball over the top over his shoulder and onto his right foot for a laser finish past De Gea in the 65th.

Miralem Pjanic and Juan Cuadrado both missed the frame with chances to make it 2-0.

Jose Mourinho brought Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata on for the final 11 minutes, and the former immediately helped set Marcus Rashford up for a rip wide of Wojciech Szczesny’s near post.

Moments later, a hopeful cross defied Szczesny when Juve was uncharacteristically mixed up on the goal line. No matter for Mourinho’s Man Utd, who authors a famous win.

Champions League Weds. preview: Pogba returns to Turin

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Manchester United knows a result against Juventus in Turin will be important on Wednesday, but it will know just how important by the time it kicks off at 3 p.m. ET

Valencia and Young Boys meet in Spain at 12:55 p.m. ET, fresh off a draw in Switzerland last month. A Valencia win would move the Spanish side ahead of United, while a Young Boys win or draw would keep United second regardless of how it fares at Juve.

[ MORE: Liverpool falls in Serbia ]

Paul Pogba is a key part of United’s hopes in Italy, and he’ll be very much in focus given his former status as a key player for The Old Lady. The new key attacker? Some guy named Cristiano Ronaldo. Here’s Pogba, via ManUtd.com:

“Obviously having such a top player like Cristiano is always positive,” Pogba said. “I think definitely that he’s very happy to be here and I believe that it’s a remarkable achievement for Juventus as they succeeded to have a player like him, because basically he scores goal just like he drinks water, so very easily.”

Ronaldo’s former club, Real Madrid, will be knocked from its Group G perch after the early match. AS Roma is in Moscow to face CSKA, and Real’s 3 p.m. kickoff at big underdogs Viktoria Plzen will be under plenty of scrutiny given the result and a tighter than expected meeting in Madrid last month.

Let’s get to the other Premier League club in action: Group F leaders Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola‘s men are home to Shakhtar Donetsk, looking to produce something similar to the Oct. 23 3-0 win in Ukraine.

City fullback Kyle Walker said the team is laser-focused, having learned from its loss to Liverpool to end its last Champions League run. From ManCity.com:

“I don’t think anything changes within the set-up of the week and the focus of the players but we have to take into consideration that the teams are different to the ones we’re facing week in, week out in the Premier League. The standard is definitely a level up. It’s something we have to think about and hopefully, we’ll put it right on Wednesday evening.”

A win for City would clinch a spot in the knockout rounds if Lyon defeats Hoffenheim in France.

Full Weds. schedule

12:55 p.m. ET kickoffs
Valencia vs. Young Boys
CSKA Moscow vs. AS Roma

3 p.m. ET kickoffs
Man City vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Lyon vs. Hoffenheim
Viktoria Plzen vs. Real Madrid
Juventus vs. Manchester United
Benfica vs. Ajax
Bayern Munich vs. AEK Athens