Pep Guardiola‘s swashbuckling Manchester City lie in wait at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, when the Red Devils will look to build on a tremendous Champions League night in Turin.
Cristiano Ronaldo‘s exceptional volley set Juventus on course for victory in Wednesday’s Group H encounter, only for United to dig deep and secure a late 2-1 win – the first group-stage loss the Italians had suffered at home since 2009.
Victory is a welcome boost ahead of Sunday’s derby with City – a side that United shocked 3-2 in April and Herrera considers alongside Juventus as Europe’s top team right now.
“I don’t like to compare situations,” Herrera said, reflecting on the win that delayed City’s Premier League title celebrations last term.
“It’s a new game, a new situation. Hopefully, we can win.
“It’s true that they are the favourites because they are in unbelievable form, but this is Manchester United and you never know what can happen.
“(Mourinho) was happy (with Wednesday’s win). I think as I told you before against the team that is in the best form in Europe with Man City it’s a good victory.
“I don’t know how long ago they lost a game here in the stadium so it’s a good result, but also we have to recognise after the first goal we conceded too much.”
Next up: City away.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 8, 2018
Needed: More post-match scenes like this. pic.twitter.com/kDTOkXn8xl
The trip to the Etihad Stadium offers the chance to secure another statement win and silence critics that had grown during a poor start to the season.
“When you play for Manchester United, the biggest club in the UK and one of the biggest in the world, you have to get used to that,” Herrera said.
“I have been here five years and with (Louis) van Gaal every day the papers talking.
“When Mourinho came, the same and we won titles. One day if another manager comes, they will speak so it’s something we are used to coping with.
“I think Manchester United players need to have the personality to cope with that. It’s true when our Premier League opponents lose games, the papers don’t talk that much, but when we lose, they do.”
United have, though, suffered striking losses this season and under-performed at times, which is why they are out of the Carabao Cup and seventh in the Premier League.
Little wonder, then that Herrera refused to talk about the race for the top four or a title challenge.
“We are the real Manchester United also in the bad moments because we have to recognise that we have had bad moments and we have to improve,” the Spaniard added.
“It’s true that the last results gave us good spirit, energy, but the real Manchester United we will see at the end of the season if we can say that we had a good season.”
Manchester United staged a remarkable comeback against Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Serie A giants went ahead courtesy of a stunning Cristiano Ronaldo volley but Juan Mata scored a sublime free-kick in the 86th minute before Ashley Young’s delivery three minutes later forced an own goal from Alex Sandro to complete a 2-1 comeback win in Turin.
It was the kind of night in Europe United haven’t enjoyed in a while.
Here, we look at their top five of all-time.
5. Manchester United 7-1 Roma |April 10, 2007
When Michael Carrick scores two long-range screamers, you know it was a special night. Having lost the first leg of the quarter-finals 2-1 in Rome, the midfielder got the Red Devils off to a flying start with an effort from distance before Alan Smith finished off a flowing move and Wayne Rooney added a third.
Cristiano Ronaldo then bagged a brace with Carrick scoring his second as well while even Patrice Evra got in on the act. Daniele De Rossi’s thumping consolation was the only blemish in an emphatic 7-1 over a strong Roma side.
It marked the beginning of a very special United team that would go on to win the competition in the following season.
4. Juventus 2-3 Manchester United | April 21, 1999
Very much the Roy Keane game. It was a superb captain’s performance that made the dream final that year possible, one he knew he wouldn’t be involved in midway through the encounter.
After a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, Filippo Inzaghi scored twice early in Turin to seemingly confirm Juventus’ spot in the final. Keane sparked a memorable comeback though, scoring with a header and running his socks off to get United through.
Dwight Yorke equalised and with the Reds still heading out on away goals, Andy Cole struck at the death to complete an unlikely revival.
3. Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (6-5 on pens) | May 21, 2008
Ronaldo kept up his sensational form and scored a towering header to give United the lead in the first half, one during which they should’ve extended their lead. Chelsea though got back into the contest after the break and Frank Lampard’s equaliser took the game to extra-time where no more goals were scored despite both sides being afforded chances to clinch the winner.
In the shootout, Ronaldo’s effort was saved by Petr Cech but John Terry slipped on a rainy night in Moscow to miscue his kick and the chance to score the winning penalty. Edwin van der Sar then denied Nicolas Anelka to win it for United.
2. Benfica 1-4 Manchester United (AET) | May 29, 1968
Just 10 years after the tragic Munich aircrash that cruelly took the lives of several United players, the team was back at the very top and looking to conquer Europe.
Facing a Benfica side led by Eusebio, Bobby Charlton gave the English outfit the lead in the 53rd minute but Jaime da Silva Graca’s equaliser took the game into extra-time where George Best would wield his magic.
The sensational winger rounded the keeper to give United the lead again in the 92nd minute and went on to terrorise the Portuguese side. Brian Kidd scored two minutes later while Charlton put the game beyond Benfica with his second in the 99th minute.
1. Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich | May 26, 1999
In a season of incredible comebacks, United had won the Premier League and FA Cup. They then set their sights on a historic treble that could be completed with an honour they hadn’t won in over three decades.
Bayern Munich though posed a formidable obstacle and Mario Basler gave them an early lead in Barcelona through a free-kick. In truth, the Germans should’ve been further ahead as the game drew to its conclusion, creating far more chances than the Premier League outfit.
However, Alex Ferguson’s side never knew when it was beaten. They went until the very end and second half substitute Teddy Sheringham scored following a David Beckham corner to snatch a dramatic 91st minute equaliser.
Another Beckham corner two minutes later, with virtually the last play of the game, was flicked on by Sheringham to the far post where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stabbed home an iconic winner to send United fans into delirium.
United had reached the promised land.
Luke Shaw enjoyed sticking it to those that continue to write off Manchester United with a stunning win away to Juventus.
A daunting double-header, with a Manchester derby on Sunday following the trip to Turin, looked set to start with disappointment for Jose Mourinho’s men on Wednesday, only for the visitors to produce a response that was nearly as remarkable as Cristiano Ronaldo’s breathtaking volley.
Juan Mata levelled with a superb free-kick which was followed by Juventus turning Ashley Young’s late set-piece into their own goal as United enjoyed another famous Champions League night in Turin.
The dramatic 2-1 victory provides a timely shot in the arm for Mourinho’s men, who have not only injected new life into their hopes of making the last 16 but provided the ideal platform on which to prepare for Sunday’s trip to bitter rivals City.
“I think tonight was a very special win, especially with going 1-0 down,” United full-back Shaw said.
“We all know how hard it can be coming here and, especially going down 1-0, it’s huge credit to the team for keeping on fighting and never giving up.
“I felt like we were going to get something out of the game even before the start of the game. Juan, with his free-kick, I felt it was going in as soon as he stepped over it and obviously Ashley with another great delivery at the end and it shows how much the team wanted it.
“We were fighting for the ball and luckily we got that bit of luck that it went in and I feel it’s deserved. We fought until the end.
“I think at times we had good possession of the ball, especially in the first half. We’ve had a poor first half recently, but I felt today was a bit better.
“It’s very good momentum now for us to go into (the Manchester derby).”
Sunday’s match at Pep Guardiola’s City is a chance to secure another memorable victory and quieten those that have been critical during United’s drab start to the campaign.
“I think tonight a lot of people will have written us off,” Shaw said.
“There’s always a lot of negative comments about us, but hopefully tonight they might say something positive for once because I think we deserve it – the team deserve it, the manager deserves it – for getting this amazing result.
Shaw thanked the raucous travelling fans for their unwavering support in Italy and hopes to give them more to celebrate at the Etihad Stadium.
“We knew Valencia had won before the game and we knew we needed to get something out of the game,” the England international added.
“I think you would have been happy with a point, especially with the way Juve are at home. It’s very big for us and the group is so tight at the moment.
“It’s a tough group and today winning was a very big step to hopefully gaining qualification, which is our main goal.”