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Juventus vs Roma: Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala Get Pre-Champions League Rest as Maurizio Sarri’s Bianconeri Lose Serie A Clash 3-1

It was Juventus’ first loss at home since 2018 and after 40 matches.

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In a bid to keep them fresh ahead of Juventus’ Champions League fixture against Lyon, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala were rested in the final Serie A clash on Saturday night against AS Roma and that proved to be fatal as the Bianconeri – who had already sealed their ninth consecutive Italian title – lost to AS Roma 1-3. It was also their first loss at home since 2018 and after 40 matches.

It took Gonzalo Higuain merely five minutes to break the deadlock and give Maurizio Sarri’s Bianconeri the early lead. It was Bernadeschi’s good, low cross that Rabiot in the near post flicked it behind him and Higuain had to tap to find the back of the net.

Eighteen minutes after that Roma hit back to level things. Nikola Kalinic’s perfect header got things on level terms for Roma midway through the first half. At the stroke of half-time, Roma was awarded a penalty and Diego Perotti slotted the ball at the back of the net with ease to get Roma in the lead. Roma went into half-time with the much-deserved lead.

Juventus looked lacklustre and Roma took full advantage of that in the second half of the match. It was Perotti again in the 52nd-minute of the match. He had struck again to take a two-goal lead and take the match beyond Juventus’ reach.

By missing the game, Ronaldo – who was chasing Lazio’s Ciro Immobile – in the race to be Italy’s top league goalscorer has missed out on the Golden Boot.

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Man Utd beating FC Copenhagen shows why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs Jadon Sancho

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Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last, United find themselves in the midst of a transfer saga.

Unlike a year ago, talk isn’t of Paul Pogba leaving for Real Madrid. Or the club needing a playmaker like Bruno Fernandes. Or a centre-back like Harry Maguire.

Instead, Sancho is very much the talk of the town. The Borussia Dortmund star is Solskjaer’s top target and, over the past two weeks, the Red Devils have upped the ante.

As things stand, however, the England international evades them. Things are threatening to turn ugly, too.

United are unhappy with Dortmund’s conduct during transfer negotiations. They find things too slow for their liking, not helped by the involvement of a third party in Marco Lichtsteiner.

And, on Monday, the Bundesliga giants took the bold step of claiming Sancho would be staying at the Westfalenstadion for the upcoming campaign.

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But, for footballing reasons, Sancho would be worth the effort. And Monday night’s showdown with FC Copenhagen in the Europa League was proof of that.

Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood are all fantastic players. And they’ve all had fantastic individual campaigns.

But United need more if they’re to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title next time out.

And, with the Red Devils chasing the goal, Solskjaer only made a change once the 90 was up.

Obviously, they’re match winners. He’s bound to keep them on because he knows they have the ability to win any match all by themselves.

But if they’re not performing, United at present don’t have a Plan B. Odion Ighalo wasn’t among the first to enter the fray and Daniel James is so out of form there’s already talk of a loan away.

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It’s why they need Sancho.

They can’t rely on Greenwood to produce a moment of magic weekly just yet. He started the season aged 17 and still has work to do, even if he sparkled on occasions on the night.

Martial has been the best player for United since the restart but he looked off the pace in Germany.

And Rashford has looked jaded in recent times. But with James and Ighalo the backup options, Solskjaer daren’t drop him.

Sancho would offer United huge competition for places and, at 20, would encourage the others to improve further rather than rest on their laurels.

It’s a good night for Solskjaer and his men but the need for the Dortmund star is growing increasingly obvious. Woodward must now attack the situation or risk the Red Devils coming up short in future. 

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Man Utd hero Paul Scholes surprised by what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side did vs Copenhagen

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“They look fresher and they look like they want it more.

“Manchester United until now are a bit flat, so maybe they’re saving themselves for the second half, I hope so.

“But we haven’t seen a lot until now and Copenhagen, to be fair to them, they are playing really well from the first minute, all the way through the first half. So compliments to them.”

A Bruno Fernandes penalty in extra time was the only goal of the game, with United set to face Wolves or Sevilla in the semi-final.

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Man Utd player ratings vs Copenhagen: Fernandes 9 and Martial key in Europa League win

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Manchester United beat FC Copenhagen 1-0 in their Europa League clash with Bruno Fernandes the matchwinner. The Portugal international scored the only goal of the game in the 94th minute, converting a penalty after Anthony Martial was fouled in the box. Express Sport will now rate and slate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side from the match in Germany.

Sergio Romero: 6

Loves playing in the Europa League and was a calm presence throughout. Could be just two matches away from leaving now, however.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 6

Good at the back but still leaves plenty to be desired when it comes to getting forward. Must improve that area if he’s to rival Trent Alexander-Arnold for England next season.

Harry Maguire – 6

The captain was assured throughout and made a fine block in the first half.

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Bruno Fernandes – 9

The star of the show. Grew into the contest and kept his cool for the penalty. Top billing from the £47million man.

Mason Greenwood – 7

Had a neat finish chalked off in the first half. Was threatening at the tip of the United attack and would be unlucky to lose out to Jadon Sancho next term.

Anthony Martial – 8

Couldn’t score a goal but won the penalty with a neat turn in the box. He was a threatening presence throughout and is finally realising his potential.

Marcus Rashford – 6

Had a goal chalked off and still doesn’t seem fully fit. Will benefit from the break at the end of the season.

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Nemanja Matic – 6

Unsurprisingly calm and was a good introduction for the second half. United simply look better when he starts, despite Fred’s talents.

Juan Mata – 6

His experience was key as United booked their place in the Europa League semis.

Victor Lindelof – 6

Soothing at the back alongside Maguire.

Jesse Lingard – 6

Couldn’t make it three goals in three. Lingardinho is no more.

Scott McTominay – N/A

Came on for a minute.

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