Manchester United came from behind against an unbeaten Juve side to claim a vital win in the Champions League, netting two goals in the last five minutes.
The win comes amid an impressive few comebacks for Jose Mourinho’s men, who have shown resilience since their manager was on the brink of losing his job one month ago.
Following the late rally in Turin, Mourinho walked onto the Juventus pitch and cupped his ear, wanting a reaction from the home crowd who had given him stick for his former ties with Inter Milan.
The United boss was quickly escorted off the pitch and split the media, drawing criticism from some quarters and receiving adulation from others.
Some people may not like it – that’s what I love about him, that’s what I love about football
Former United captain Gary Neville has backed Mourinho throughout his tough periods, and revealed how he felt about the Portuguese’s antics on Wednesday night.
“I thought Jose after the game was… That’s why everyone loves him,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“Seeing him cup the hand to the fans at the end of the game… Some people may not like it – that’s what I love about him, that’s what I love about football.
“I think there should be reaction and passion at the end of the match, I even liked his reaction at the end of the game against Newcastle the other week [where Mourinho spoke angrily towards a TV camera].”
Jose Mourinho has been praised by Gary Neville
“To me, Jose Mourinho’s best qualities always were that he was impossible when he was losing, but he was impossible when he was winning – it was enthralling to watch.”
For much of this season, Mourinho has cut a frustrated figure, consistently disappointed with his players’ poor execution of gameplans.
The experienced coach was far more jovial after the Juventus win, however, cracking jokes in his post-match media duties.
“When I think of him in the press conference the other night after the game,” Neville continued, “some of the one-liners he came out with compared to where he was a few weeks ago before that Newcastle game, that’s a massive difference. He has hung in there and shown determination.”
Jose Mourinho rattled Juventus fans after United’s remarkable comeback
“It was getting close, it was feeling like something was happening and the world was collapsing around the team, the club, the manager and it felt like there was going to be a change, and I think the Chelsea game was the big one.”
Amid United’s resurgent form came a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, the ground at which the 13-time Premier League winners have their worst record.
One week prior to that, a thrilling comeback against Newcastle secured a 3-2 win at Old Trafford.
“Even though you could point towards Newcastle, which was huge, nearly winning at Stamford Bridge and getting within a second of winning will have given the players confidence and since then they have grown and grown,” Neville continued.
Alexis Sanchez scored a last-minute winner against Newcastle, saving Jose Mourinho’s job
“It hasn’t been with incredible performance levels but with a real doggedness and determination.
“People were strongly suggesting that players were not with the manager a month ago. I never bought into that.
“You don’t win away from home or show the level of determination unless the players are there fighting until the end.
“Even though everything might not be perfect and there might be one or two issues that have been rumbling between Jose and players, I think generally the players on the pitch are showing they are fighting for the shirt, for the badge and the coaching staff.”
Gary Neville captained Manchester United
Neville did concede that his beloved club are still not hitting their top performance levels, though.
“The performances are still not wonderful,” the former England assistant coach asserted.
“I thought they played quite well against Juventus but the big thing is they have this resilience and doggedness which is a great quality to have.
“We are not watching Manchester United at their free-flowing best, we are not watching Manchester United play anywhere near 100 per cent.
“But what we are seeing is they are hanging in games where they are getting outplayed and they are hanging in there at moments when they are getting outplayed.
“Against Bournemouth, they could have been 3-0 down after the first 20 minutes but it was only 1-0. Things like that happen and then what they do is play in moments.
“They come alive in moments in games. Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, or one of the other players, come alive and deliver a moment that means they are getting goals.
“That is what’s happening at the moment and it will be building confidence and belief and keeping the clouds away.”
United face their toughest test yet on the weekend as they travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on unbeaten table-toppers Manchester City.