Well, it was an amazing blast from the past. And no, Cristiano, not the way you hoped. Grit, tantrums, feverish belief in the plan: it seems strange that for just a few weeks it was just those things Manchester United looked to be inadequate.
Instead, at Barcelona's modest, still, occasional feverish night, he created a Barcelona-lite moment, a group script to honor the triumphs of 1999, he switched 1-1 to 2-1 in the last four minutes.
There was even time to end a highly toxic José Mourinho theater at the end. The first United manager could be seen waving his hands and feet like a little marionette like Marcus Rashford, through the goal, scared to actually score, rather than go in the corner or hide in the hole with the ball jumping out of the skip or plunging into the eye , or whatever José meant.
When the final whistles were blown, it could be seen how Mourinho furiously irritated the air. It is not a joke of joy, but a real crushed line of equal rights in its moment of triumph. Finally, he set out on the pitch and confronted Leonard Bonucci, irresistibly looking at this figure in black, gripping his ears in the crowd, creating a terribly weird, mocking grin.
A match that looked as if it had disappeared into a handshake of a useful draw with an hour off, became quite different. The match that seemed to become a goodbye to Cristian with 63 minutes disappeared was another.
And there will be a temptation for some to see turn, threshold values exceeded, a sense of ignition in any third season, later stage José United should look. If it's a jump, two things are certain. Firstly, this united team produced a demonstration that Mourinho will take on its discipline and its hard edges.
And second, it's the best result of the Mourinho period. Juventus will not lose in Turin. While in 2003 Juventus was defeated only once in 35 groups in the home team of the Champions League before yesterday evening. Allianz Stadium is a ugly, distant, strangely impenetrable fortress, pulling down the ditch to the mall and high braiding. Inside is a spectacular, steeply inclined amphitheater with its deafening Eurotrash PA, known as the Thunderstruck AC / DC, when the home players are warming up. Juve under the lights as the state-of-the-art stadium rock football. But this time it is not.
United's first lesson was heavy and raucous, the team played an older version of European football, a matter of calming the crowd and calming the pace. It is worth remembering who they were against, and not just the man Mourinho calls "the player." Although yes, especially his. This game in Gazzetta was just six pages Wednesday morning under the title "Il Big Match". Cristiano Ronaldo, the Sun King, dominated most of what Paul Pogby's design was a bit more than curiosity.
Mourinho packed his team with his hands. In front of Pogby, Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard revealed Alexis Sánchez's two sides. He looked from the summits of the gods to something that seemed to have looked at Giorgio Chiellini and Bonucci, with his gaudy legs, like a puppy chasing the shadows on the wall.
After 15 minutes, Ronaldo left 10 points, three behind the goal. Several moments of dizzily subtle control over Paul Dybalou, who seemed to have a strangely hypnotic, sensual relationship with the ball. United played quietly. They were compact and quiet in their shell with coal, a kind of painting craft painting charts called army breath or autumn nails. Running watched. The shape was preserved. Ashley Young has become vocal leader in this team. Before he ran, he walked around each other to hug each of his teammates and whispered the words in his ears. And here he was strong and pointed, a little fighter on his right side.
When Juve's introductory gate came, it was a masterpiece that arose from some constant pressure. He made Bonus's noble overflow, but mainly running, Ronaldo's feet suddenly pounded the lawn as a boxer who struck a quick coupling as he passed the center of defense of the United States. As the ball fell, slowly, gently over his shoulder, he did not have to break himself and tossed to his right foot around David de Gaea. He walked into the corner, stretched his hands, and lifted the edge of his shirt to celebrate, dampened in those 33-year-old stomachs. And so we remember, in this difficult time, not only Cristiano's ab-ripple, but also Pardew's dance, his close predecessor in vanity-hubris.
United changed the game. Juan Mata floated with a beautiful free kick to gain a third point. The winner was tied from another set. United calmed down and then raged the stadium. And what happens to this muscular, courageous and persuasive side will always be Turin.