Tonight, Manchester United were once again dominated in their own backyard. Juventus secured a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford in a result that leaves Jose Mourinho's side with one win from three games in Europe and in danger of failing to qualify for the knock-out stages.
The Old Lady were a vastly superior side in terms of tactical strategy and technical ability. It was a disheartening performance for the noisy Stretford End faithful who once again watched a team determined to survive rather than thrive.
Juventus were estimated to have spent £231.21m during the past transfer window while taking in £89.55m from departures. In comparison, Manchester United spent a reported £73m while taking in £20.76m in players sold.
However, Juventus's wage bill stands at £228.77m compared to Manchester United's £300 million. This is indicative of two clubs run in very different ways. Juventus's recruitment policy is focused on shrewd, continued signings with the entire organisation working in tandem. In Manchester, a scattergun policy undermined by disagreements between manager and vice-chairman have led to significant inadequacies.
The Premier League club seem to be aware of their internal issues. The Independent reported last August that the disappointing window saw the club begin to search for a director of football, with Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici the preferred option. Last month Italian media added to the speculation as Corriere della Sera, Paratici could leave the Italian champions "at the end of the year, or even earlier."
On a night where Old Trafford watched Cristiano Ronaldo continually threaten to score while Leonardo Bonucci persistently kept them at bay, the damning matter became apparent. Both of those players are recent recruits, Manchester United's entire starting team were at the club last year. Matic, Lukuku and Lindelof were the only players to start signed by Mourinho.
David de Gea! ???
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) October 23, 2018
There remains a groundswell of anger amongst fans at the antics of the Man United board. The lack of injection back into the club has led to widespread resentment.
United were competitive but second-class throughout. However, the bigger problem comes when you compare the organisations, as a club united and focused in their footballing goals overcame one that is not.