An­other Satur­day slum­ber as Reds’ front­line flops again

Irish Examiner - Sport - - SOCCER -

Was it re­ally less than three weeks ago that Manchester United be­came the first team since 2009 to beat Juventus away from home in Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion? It seems a lot, lot longer.

That vic­tory in Turin stands out as a high point in a sea­son of wob­bles for United. Yet the mo­men­tum that might have been gained from such an im­por­tant vic­tory feels as if it has been squan­dered in the two matches since. United were sec­ond best in the Manchester derby that fol­lowed, and unin­spired as Crys­tal Palace earned a de­served draw on Satur­day.

Jose Mour­inho ques­tioned whether his play­ers showed enough “heart” in the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of the Palace match, and warned that a sim­i­lar per­for­mance against Young Boys in the Cham­pi­ons League to­mor­row would not bring a vic­tory. Fail­ure to beat the Swiss cham­pi­ons would put United’s place in the knock­out stages at risk.

If they did not reach the last 16, Mour­inho would sud­denly be back un­der the kind of pres­sure that looked as if it might cost him his job in early Oc­to­ber. For the sake of their sea­son, and their man­ager, United need to re­gain their Juventus form, and quickly.

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