Mour­inho ex­plains ges­ture

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

TURIN. — Manch­ester United man­ager Jose Mour­inho says his ges­ture to­wards Ju­ven­tus fans af­ter Wed­nes­day night’s 2-1 UEFA Cham­pi­ons League soc­cer Group H vic­tory was jus­ti­fied.

It ap­peared the Ital­ian Serie A out­fit were on course for vic­tory af­ter Cris­tiano Ron­aldo scored a stun­ning vol­ley in the 65th minute at the Al­lianz Sta­dium in Torino.

How­ever, United showed great re­solve as they won the en­counter fol­low­ing a su­perb Juan Mata free­kick as well as a last-minute own goal by Alex San­dro.

The re­sult sees the Red Devils move to seven points in the stand­ings, just two be­hind the Ital­ians in Group H. Va­len­cia are in third on five points while Young Boys are in last po­si­tion with just a sin­gle point to their name.

None­the­less, af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle again I Bian­coneri, Mour­inho walked out on to the pitch while cup­ping his ear in a provoca­tive man­ner to­wards the home fans.

How­ever, the Por­tuguese ex­plained he was jus­ti­fied to do so af­ter they ver­bally abused him through­out the game.

Speak­ing to BT Sports, he said: “In a beau­ti­ful Ital­ian city, they in­sulted me for 90 min­utes. I didn’t in­sult them. I just made a lit­tle thing.

“I know the mil­lions of In­ter fans are happy with that. But I re­spect Ju­ven­tus, their play­ers, the man­ager, the qual­ity they have.”

The 55-year-old added of the pick­ing up a vi­tal three points against the Serie A cham­pi­ons, “We per­formed at a high level. Af­ter the goal we had five min­utes to wake up again.

“We were there from the first minute un­til the last. It is a big vic­tory for us, not just be­cause we needed the points but be­cause it was away from home against an amaz­ing team.

“They are a fan­tas­tic team with an amaz­ing record at home. We had to come and not feel in­fe­rior. They have more po­ten­tial than us. Every­body knows their am­bi­tions.”

Mean­while, Ron­aldo could not hide his frus­tra­tion that de­spite scor­ing his first Cham­pi­ons League goal for Ju­ven­tus the Ital­ian side “gifted” a dra­matic late 2-1 vic­tory to Manch­ester United.

Ron­aldo struck with a mag­nif­i­cent first-time vol­ley on 65 min­utes to leave Juve on course for the knock-out phase, but Mata equalised with an 86th-minute free­kick be­fore Leonardo Bonucci turned into his own net.

It was the 121st goal in the com­pe­ti­tion for five-time Cham­pi­ons League win­ner Ron­aldo who Ju­ven­tus are count­ing on to help them lift their first Euro­pean ti­tle since 1996.

In­stead they must now wait for the re­main­ing games against Va­len­cia and Young Boys to seal their pas­sage to the next round.

“United did noth­ing to win the game,” Ron­aldo told Sky Sports Italia.

“We dom­i­nated for 90 min­utes, had so many chances, could have killed it off three or four times, but we re­laxed and were pun­ished.

“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.”

Ju­ven­tus are top of Group H on nine points - two points ahead of United - with Va­len­cia now on five and Swiss club Young Boys elim­i­nated af­ter los­ing 3-1 to the Spa­niards.

Sami Khedira and Paulo Dy­bala both hit the wood­work be­fore five­time Ballon d’Or win­ner Ron­aldo brought the ca­pac­ity 41 470 crowd to their feet when he ham­mered home Bonucci’s long pass from just in­side United’s half.

United though had the fi­nal word as Mour­inho brought on Mata and Marouane Fel­laini, who helped turn the game round in just four min­utes, the Spa­niard bend­ing in a free-kick from the edge of the box to give the vis­i­tors a scarcely-de­served equaliser.

Juve were then left in shock as Ash­ley Young’s free-kick from the left bounced in off a com­bi­na­tion of Bonucci and Alex San­dro af­ter a fran­tic scram­ble in front of goal.

For Mas­sim­i­lano Al­le­gri’s seven-time reign­ing Serie A cham­pi­ons it was a first de­feat this sea­son.

“The Cham­pi­ons League is a spe­cial com­pe­ti­tion, where you could be win­ning, but you can’t re­lax, as any­thing can hap­pen,” con­tin­ued Ron­aldo, who has won the com­pe­ti­tion four times Real Madrid and once with United.

It was the eighth goal this sea­son for the 33-year-old who ar­rived from Real Madrid in July in a deal es­ti­mated to cost 340 mil­lion eu­ros in to­tal over four years, on top of the 110 mil­lioneuro trans­fer fee.

“I was happy with the goal, but I’m a lit­tle bit dis­ap­pointed be­cause we should win the game with three or four goals.” — AFP.

Jose Mour­inho

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