Juan Mata: 'I knew I had to take it'
Juan Mata has revealed that he asked Manchester United captain and fellow set-piece specialist Ashley Young for permission to take the glorious free-kick that started the Reds' dramatic late comeback against Juventus.
"So I tried to do what I do in training a lot of times, practicing, practicing. It was important to score to make it 1-1 and, after, it led us to the 1-2. I think because of the venue and the importance of the game, it's one of the best [that I've scored]."
The midfielder was also full of praise for the personality and mental strength of his team, who posted the first win by an English side in Juventus's new ground, the Allianz Stadium.
"Fantastic team, fantastic stadium, great atmosphere, very difficult to play against. But this is football and when you have two dangerous free-kicks you have to make the most of them and we did that in the last five minutes, and it was a very, very positive feeling at the end of the game. When you come back to Manchester after suffering that match - especially in the second half, with some chances for them - with the three points, it's a big step in the group stage for us.
"We kept believing we would have one or two chances and maybe score one. A draw is not bad here. But then with Ashley crossing very, very well and I don't know what happened in the box [for the winner] - it seemed like an own goal or something like that - we get a massive three points.
"There are still two games to play but it's a massive step for us in terms of trying to qualify."
Juve 1 United 2Gallery
The story of our UEFA Champions League Group H tie in images.