Manchester United stunned Juventus with two goals in the final five minutes to beat the Italian champions in Turin and give themselves a good chance of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages last night.
Juan Mata curled in a free-kick with five minutes to go, before Ashley Young’s set-piece was bundled into his own net by Juventus defender Alex Sandro.
Cristiano Ronaldo had put the hosts ahead with an outstanding volley against his former club.
Ronaldo watched Leonardo Bonucci’s long pass over his shoulder before lashing it past United goalkeeper David De Gea for his first goal in the competition since signing for the Italian champions.
Juventus had hit the frame of the goal either side of half-time, with Sami Khedira striking a post and Paulo Dybala curling an effort on to the bar.
Jose Mourinho’s side offered little attacking threat at the other end, until substitute Mata beat goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny with a well-placed free-kick from the edge of the box in the 86th minute.
Three minutes later and another United free-kick proved Juventus’ undoing, as Young’s in-swinging delivery was inadvertently turned in under pressure by Sandro from close range.
The visitors’ late double keeps them second in Group H and two points above Valencia, who beat Young Boys 3-1 in the early kick-off, with two games still to play.
United have made a habit of staging late recoveries this season, although manager Mourinho bemoaned his side’s inability to do so when they were beaten by Juventus at Old Trafford last month.
But, while comeback wins over Newcastle and Bournemouth in the Premier League offered relief rather than the chance to rejoice, this victory was more reminiscent in its nature of United’s Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich in 1999.
Mourinho’s side look a long way from winning the competition 20 years on, but his players’ reaction at the final whistle – and Mourinho’s cupped ear to the Juventus fans – showed how important taking three points in Turin was to the Reds.
Juventus had won three from three and were yet to concede a goal in the Champions League this season before Mata’s strike, while United’s late winner inflicted only the Serie A champions’ second loss at home in the group stages in 36 games.
United – without Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku, who is also a doubt for Sunday’s Manchester derby – opted for Alexis Sanchez to lead the line, but the Chilean had a bigger influence on the visitors’ defensive performance than he did their attack.
The same could be said for Anthony Martial, who tracked Juventus right-back Mattia De Sciglio relentlessly as United defended resolutely before Ronaldo’s opener.
But United, who had just three shots on target, proved clinical in attack when it mattered and will progress from the group if they beat Young Boys at home later this month and Valencia fail to beat Juventus.
Valencia 3-1 Young Boys
Juventus 1-2 Man Utd
CSKA Moscow 1-2 Roma
Benfica 1-1 Ajax
V’ Plzen 0-5 Real Madrid
Man City 6-0 Shakhtar
B’Munich 2-0 AEK Athens
Lyonn 2-2 Hoffenheim