United up­beat ahead of Manch­ester derby

Shanghai Daily - - SPORTS - SOC­CER (AP)

JOSE Mour­inho has Manch­ester United play­ing with spirit and de­ter­mi­na­tion once again.

Two late goals gave United a sur­prise 2-1 vic­tory at Ju­ven­tus in the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League on Wed­nes­day and will serve as a big boost head­ing into an­other im­por­tant match: Sun­day’s Manch­ester derby.

“On­wards and up­wards, and es­pe­cially with the big game on Sun­day it’s very good mo­men­tum for us to go into that,” United de­fender Luke Shaw said.

Op­po­si­tion doesn’t come much tougher than Manch­ester City at the mo­ment. The English Pre­mier League cham­pion is two points clear at the top, and nine points ahead of sev­enth-place United.

City has also lost only one match in any com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son — a 1-2 set­back at home against Lyon — and has scored 12 goals in its past two matches.

How­ever, prior to Wed­nes­day, Ju­ven­tus hadn’t lost all sea­son.

“I think tonight a lot of peo­ple would have wrote us off,” Shaw said after the match. “And es­pe­cially there is al­ways a lot of nega­tive com­ments about us but hope­fully they might say some­thing pos­i­tive for once, be­cause I think we de­serve it, the team de­serve it, the man­ager de­serves it for get­ting this amaz­ing re­sult.

“Hope­fully this can give us great mo­men­tum now and we’ll have a good few days of train­ing and re­boot our­selves for the game (on Sun­day).”

Some­thing ap­pears to have clicked at United re­cently. It was the se­cond match in a row that United has scored a late win­ner after its come­back over the week­end against Bournemouth. United also fought back to win 3-2 with a late goal against New­cas­tle United last month.

And that has re­vived mem­o­ries of the win­ning goals scored in “Fergie Time” by United’s tro­phy-win­ning teams un­der Alex Fer­gu­son.

“I think tonight was a very spe­cial win, es­pe­cially with go­ing 1-0 down, we all know how hard it can be com­ing here,” Shaw said. “It’s a huge credit to the team for keep­ing on fight­ing and never giv­ing up. I feel it’s de­served.”

City has only dropped points to Liver­pool this sea­son and has lost only one league match at home in nearly two years — but that was against United in April.

“If we win the next game we are more than com­fort­able, so our heads are on that as well,” United mid­fielder Jesse Lin­gard said. “It’s a great team spirit.”

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