Allegri names the one United player that made the difference against Juventus
It’s not very often that Marouane Fellaini is recognised as Manchester United’s key man.
But Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri claims the Belgian midfielder was the difference between the two sides at the Stadio Delle Alpi on Wednesday.
United were heading to a second successive European defeat to Allegri’s Serie A side, after former player Cristiano Ronaldo had put the hosts in front.
Fellaini was then thrown into action from the bench, and helped spark United’s turnaround, as they bagged two goals in the dying minutes to win the game.
The 30-year-old made a usual nuisance of himself, as the Juve defenders struggled to deal with his aerial prowess.
United boss Jose Mourinho even said after the match that Fellaini had made "the team alive again."
Mourinho’s counterpart Allegri was in full agreement post-match, and said: "They didn’t have Felliani in the first leg and tonight they had him and he made an important contribution.
"It’s simple, the fact that he is 190 centimetres tall and strong on the header.
"The team played well in defence, as we didn’t concede much and created a lot, and were aware of the difficulties of Fellaini coming on and there was the two free-kicks, and from the negative we have to find the positive."
Fellaini’s fellow substitute Juan Mata had pulled the visitors level with four minutes of normal time remaining, after Ronaldo’s 65th minute opener.
Juve defender Leonardo Bonucci then put the ball into his own net after Fellaini caused havoc in the opposition box.
Allegri added: "‘It doesn’t change much as we can’t expect to win all the games, it was better to have a stumble tonight and despite the good performance, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
"What annoys me is losing, and tonight was a test of what kind of reaction we need. And tonight was a match we deserved to win."
United’s win moved them just two points behind the Old Lady in Group H, with two games left to play.
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