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JJJ 300x169 - Is the Champions League window closing for Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus?

TURIN, Italy — As time ebbed away, it looked as though Cristiano Ronaldo had done precisely what Juventus signed him to do, following the majestic volley with which he put the Italian champions ahead against his former club Manchester United.

In a tight Champions League game Wednesday against a formidable rival — by reputation, if not current form — Ronaldo stepped up to net his 121st goal in the competition, making what appeared to a decisive contribution just when it mattered most.

A pinpoint 50-yard pass from Leonardo Bonucci dropped over the shoulder of the Portuguese forward, who had run behind United’s central defenders, and Ronaldo finished exquisitely with a first-time shot.

His 65th-minute strike was not quite at the level of the overhead kick he scored at the same end of this stadium for Real Madrid against Juventus last season — though it did root David De Gea to roughly the same spot on which Gigi Buffon stood that night in April — but it was special nonetheless, the kind of goal that would instantly jump into the top five of most other players.

However, his first goal in the Champions League for Juventus ultimately turned out to be no more than b-roll in a highlights compilation of matchday four’s best goals, thanks to United’s dramatic late fightback, which clinched a 2-1 victory and ensured all three points would head to Manchester.

For Jose Mourinho, who had been taunted by home fans throughout — no former Inter coach is popular at Juventus, especially one who won the Treble — the final whistle marked an opportunity to goad his tormentors by holding a hand to his ear. Former United midfielder Paul Scholes suggested on TV in England that it is “sometimes better to win with a bit of class,” but Mourinho milked his moment of victory.

For Juventus, the prospect of winning Group H with two games to spare had evaporated and, though they were unlucky to end the game with nothing, they did not dominate and were defeated by a team sitting seventh in the Premier League.

 

Mark OgdenSenior
Writer, ESPN FC

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Sports

Champions League round of 16 draw for 2019/2018

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Champions league draw

The 2018/2019 Champions League draw held on Monday, December 17.

Manchester United will face Paris Saint-Germainin the standout fixture of the round of 16 of the 2018/2019 Champions League.

In the draw made on Monday, December 17, Manchester United will host the French giants in the first leg.

Liverpool will face Bayern Munich in another stand out fixture with Tottenham facing Borussia Dortmund.

In other fixtures, Schalke will take on Manchester CityAtletico Madrid Vs Juventus and Lyon Vs Barcelona.

Reigning champions Real Madrid will first travel to take on Ajax in the first leg while Roma host Porto.

 

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