Marouane Fellaini struck a controversial winning goal in injury-time to send Manchester United through to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. Jose Mourinho’s men in red broke their jinx at Old Trafford after a hard-earned 1-0 win over Young Boys on Tuesday.
The scorecard remained barren in the first half after both teams failed their attempts for each other’s net. Till the 90 minutes of play, the frustrated Red Devils couldn’t get their first goal at Old Trafford in Champions League this season as they wasted several opportunities.
In the last minute, the board was put up to signal three minutes of injury time and the things changed when Fellaini brought down the ball from Romelu Lukaku's header with a slight touch his hand slipped it through Young Boys’ defender Loris Benito. The ball hit the right corner of the net which is out of reach from goalkeeper David Von Ballmoos in the 90+1 minutes.
After rescuing the squad from scoreless season, Fellaini defended his act, saying that the handball was not on purpose. “I controlled the ball, if it touched my hand it was not on purpose,” the Belgian midfielder said.
The lone goal in front of the home crowd brought emotionally wild reaction from Mourinho.
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The 55-year-old Portuguese did yet another public display of affection in football by kicking out a crate full of water bottles and throwing down another to the floor in celebration.
The Red Devils boss drew criticism by holding his hands to his ears when United defeated Juventus 2-1 in Turin earlier this Champions League campaign. He is no new to the over-exuberant gestures in the field. He ran on the Old Trafford touchline to celebrate an aggregate win for this then Porto against Alex Ferguson’s United.
With Juventus defeated Valencia to remain top of Group H, United are safe at second place with 10 points, just two points behind the leader.