Ever since the Champions League draw, this date on the calendar had been circled for Manchester United and Juventus, and even though Cristiano Ronaldo didn't score, he'll leave Old Trafford with what's most important–a win.
Paulo Dybala's 17th-minute goal held up, as Juventus edged Manchester United 1-0 in their Champions League group game on Tuesday. The match marked Ronaldo's return to the stadium he used to call home, while it also pitted Paul Pogba against his former team. It was Pogba's 75th-minute blast that nearly pulled Man United even, but it hit off the post, leaving the Red Devils with four points through three games in Group H. Juventus remained perfect, sits pretty with the maximum of nine points and has yet to concede in the competition.
The most action in the opening minutes came from a supporter who ran onto the field. It delayed a Juan Mata free kick in the fourth minute, as security tended to the pitch invader. After the minor inconvenience subsided, Mata's curling kick was taken easily by Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Ronaldo wasn't involved much in the opening 10 minutes, with his biggest moment coming right before the 10-minute mark, when Joao Cancelo tried to pick him out at the far post. The cross from the right was overhit, though, and Ronaldo couldn't reach it, though it looked like he was going to entertain an acrobatic move before thinking the better of it.
Pogba, meanwhile, gave United its first real chance on goal off another free kick, glancing an awkward, looping header on frame, only for Szczesny to make the grab on his goal line in the 16th minute.
The opener came a minute later on the other side. Ronaldo had a hand in it, firing in a cross from the right that slipped through a sliding Juan Cuadrado and Chris Smalling by the near post and fell fortuitously for Dybala on the doorstep. The Argentine star fired home from close range to give Juve the 1-0 lead.
Ronaldo nearly set up a second, sending Cancelo in on goal, but David De Gea parried away the right back's powerful effort to keep the deficit at one.
De Gea was called on in the 38th minute on consecutive occasions to keep Juventus from adding to its lead. First, Ronaldo fired a free kick right at the Spanish goalkeeper, who made the save. He conceded a rebound right to Blaise Matuidi, though, and the French midfielder volleyed on target, forcing De Gea to stretch out his arm while making a leaping save, swatting the chance away.
Manchester United's best chance came early in the second half, when Leonardo Bonucci was called into making a hard, sliding tackle on Anthony Martial, which did not result in a penalty despite shouts from the Old Trafford faithful.
A few mintues later, on the other end, De Gea was called into action again to deny Ronaldo, saving his powerful blast over the bar in the 52nd minute.
Juventus failed to find its second goal, and Pogba nearly made the visitors pay, unleashing a wicked 23-yard blast in the 75th minute that beat Szczesny but hit off the post. The rebound came off the back of the goalkeeper but somehow stayed out, letting Juventus off from the danger and allowing the Italian side to claim all three points.
Here were the lineups for both sides:
The rematch in Turin will take place in the teams' next Champions League match, on Wednesday, Nov. 7.