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Wednesday October 24 2012
Draw-ventus lack European aura

Juventus have complicated their Champions League path with another draw. Luca Cetta writes after the 1-1 with Nordsjaelland.

A night of Champions League shocks looked on the cards during the opening 45 minutes. Celtic led at Barcelona, Manchester United found themselves two goals down and Chelsea fell behind. In Denmark, minnows Nordsjaelland went blow for blow with Juventus as it remained scoreless.

There was to be no fairytale for Celtic, while Braga let their lead slip to lose 3-2. Shakhtar have proven to be dangerous opponents – especially at home – so perhaps the shock value was not as high when they claimed a win over Roberto Di Matteo’s side. Meanwhile, Juve toiled for little reward after falling behind to Mikkel Beckmann’s fine 50th minute free-kick. That was until Mirko Vucinic rescued a draw. A relief? Yes. The desired result? No. The Danes gained their maiden Champions League point in a result not many saw coming.

It means the Bianconeri have drawn for the third time in Europe this season and for the ninth consecutive game in European competitions. For a club of their stature that record is not good enough. Just as much as winning has become a habit domestically, not winning is prevalent on the continent.

The aura of invincibility which powers the Juve machine in Serie A is not present. When they needed to get out of a tight spot against Napoli they found a way. Here it did not occur. The typical grinta was missing. While a different regime and scenario to when the Turin giants drew their way through the Europa League two seasons ago, this side has not yet altered the pattern.

The same old problem with this Juventus reared its ugly head in. The lack of a clinical edge in attack was evident once again. A total of 33 shots, just nine on target and only one found its way past the impressive Jesper Hansen. The self-confessed Juve fan did his best to frustrate time and again with a series of saves. Gianluigi Buffon and Angelo Alessio claimed Juve deserved to win after creating ample opportunities, but the fact is they failed to capitalise.

The Danish champions should be commended for their performance. They contributed to an entertaining first half, at times holding more possession than Juventus and nearly opened the scoring, only for a superb Buffon stop to deny Joshua John. However, Juve’s captain could do little to prevent the opening goal and for the third straight contest Juventus conceded the lead. Nordsjaelland were then pinned back in their half but defended stoutly, led by youngster Jores Okore.

Could Alessio have looked to the bench sooner? In between Beckmann netting and Vucinic appearing Juve were pressing, but the game followed a predictable pattern. Once the fresh injection was made the Bianconeri looked livelier. Beside his goal the Montenegrin was readily involved, while fellow substitute Nicklas Bendtner was vigorous. On home soil and with something to prove a longer run in place of Alessando Matri may have done the trick. On a disappointing night, the Dane’s cameo and the showing of Sebastian Giovinco – who continued on from an impressive display on Saturday – were bright spots.

Group E has reached the halfway point and Juve lie third. They will fail to gain six points against Nordsjaelland as expected, but now cannot do with less than four. Shakhtar’s win over the reigning champions throws the group wide open, with the Ukrainians currently leading by three points. Should they take something away from Stamford Bridge it will aid the Old Lady’s cause. But Antonio Conte’s men must be concerned with their results as Juve’s European destiny remains in their hands. Seven points from a possible nine is the minimum required. As recent at 2009-10 Inter drew their opening three matches before qualifying and going on to claim the trophy, so all is not lost. Yet what Juventus requires above all is that winning aura to follow them into the Champions League.

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Have your say...
The results are pretty clear, serie a is no longer a top European league. I watch serie a every week because I have a connection to the teams and appreciate the style and tactical battle, but the players are poor. When an undefeated champion cannot win a vital game in Denmark, when the second best team is demolished by also-ran Ukrainians missing their best player in Konoplyanka, the truth hurts. The Italian championship is currently equivalent to the Greek Super League.
on the 27th October, 2012 at 7:37am
As far as Europe and the coefficient are concerns, only Inter deliver the result.

Udinese, Napoli and even Lazio clearly don't give a damn about them, while Milan and Juve are, well... looks like they want to join the EL competition rather than staying in CL.

Go check the UEFA coefficient table and see how near france and portugal are to italy now and sadly, how far the germans have move up.

Reckon Juve need to win at least 2 out of the remaining 3 games to stay in CL. Don't count on it.
on the 26th October, 2012 at 5:37pm
Not gud week for Italian football esp in EU,where counts most.Dominating domestically wont mean anythig much if FAILURE in EU.Napoli,Udine,Milan all lost while Only-Serie-A-dominant Juve cliched their another draw and made their European adventure just complicated.. "Italians like to keep it till 89'min.." yeah., go on the next time u all JuveItalia wakeup PACKING YOUR BAGS HOME.. Only INTER proved to be the only TRUE BEACON for Italian Hopes in EUROPE. FORZA INTER!
on the 26th October, 2012 at 7:39am
@Reality

Was ur nick Viktor? only him would say that Muntari's goal would send Milan to win scudetto (Matri's was dissalowed too *COUGH).

Are u forgotten Milan were leading 2-0 vs Inter and in the end what? 2-4 LOL!

Go cry somewhere. Juve draw 3 times, how about Milan now? oh yeah Conte on the box, Allegri on the bench.

FORZA JUVE
on the 25th October, 2012 at 7:47pm
I can't believe Milan fans are still going on about Muntari's disallowed goal. We all know it crossed the line, like we know that Matri's goal was on-side. There were 11 rounds after that game still to be played, so that one incident didn't decide the title. What decided the title is that we won 10 out of those 11 games, whilst Milan fell apart. The Scudetto is ours...so get over it and move on. You have far greater problems to worry about now...15 points behind The Bianconeri machine for one.
on the 25th October, 2012 at 6:21pm
@ viktor well lets have it right it definitely isnt AC milans era now is it judging by their shocking performances home and abroad they have to be the worst milan team in history.and you wont be catching juventus anytime soon.with the amount of draws juventus are having i thing a big name striker is imminent.
on the 25th October, 2012 at 11:50am
Chill out everyone. This is Juventus; the team whose players took Italy to the European Cup final this year. They're used to playing in Europe. People complained that Juve drew too many in the league last year and we know how it finished. No big team is running away with it in Europe this year as the smaller teams play the game of their lives against them. Plus, Italian teams always struggle in groups...we like to scrape through with an 89th minute winner. And then we'll wake up.
on the 25th October, 2012 at 10:24am
Juve can still win the next three games, it is very possible.
on the 25th October, 2012 at 7:26am
Tell me again how Milan is going to show Juve how to win in Europe. LOL. MIlan loses all its matches, while Juve is unbeaten for 2 years. Juve have great players, but the team concept is Juve's true strength -- despite all these great players (8 in the Italian National Team), we still see these closet masturbators allege that Juve would lose every match, but for the referees. Wow, what football knowledge. You should be Man City fans, oh wait, they lose in Europe too.
on the 25th October, 2012 at 1:36am
can people stop bringing up Mutari's disallowed goal, (reality) Matri had a goal disallowed right after, so come back to Reality! Juventus needs a quality strikers,
They should've just paid Drogba's buy out clause and at least they would have a reliable, but old striker...
on the 24th October, 2012 at 10:36pm
This Juventus side has been built to win in Italy, the most tactical league in the world. European football is a totally different style, a lot faster tempo and not a style I particularly like. I think Shakhtar will win the group, but we can certainly take second place. Our first 11, when fit and firing, are a match for anyone in a one off encounter. Also I think it's Europe when we really miss Conte. If we can get to the knock-out stages with Antonio back on the touchline we can still go far.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 9:25pm
Only a fool could expect Juve to do anything in Europe. There is real competition there, you can NOT select the referees that you like and be favored by them in every single game.

Don't forget that Juventus would NOT win the title last year if Muntari's goal was allowed!
on the 24th October, 2012 at 9:14pm
@Hamid

Yeah, we're soooo lucky Milan are taking care of the UEFA co-efficient up for us.

Remind me again how many co-efficient points Milan picked up today?
on the 24th October, 2012 at 8:56pm
Has everyone forgot about where was CONTE in each game?

3 draws UCL
1 draw Serie A
7 win Serie A

and CONTE was on the box, that still good achievement.

wait until CONTE back on dec, and a real 30+ striker, then Juventus will ripped apart UCL and of course SERIE A.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 8:31pm
@Hamid

Say what ???? Hopefully milan go relegated

@Viktor

Mid 90's Juventus went 3 times straight to the Final, too bad only 1 win, still good achievement. Few teams can go through the final more than twice.

and yeah , milan lost again to lazio
on the 24th October, 2012 at 8:15pm
@ Viktor - sorry pal, 1994 onwards it was Juves decade all the way through to 00s..go check ur facts again.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 7:51pm
Everything is still in play so Juventini need to calm down. How soon do we forget that for about a year and a half we have only suffered 1 defeat. There are 3 games left - 2 of which we play at home. Last night wasn't that bad since we created plenty of chances its just that we need to get better at finishing them off. Even in the 90s if you look at it we had difficulty getting out of the group but once we did we went to 3 straight finals and a semi in 99. So have faith people!
on the 24th October, 2012 at 7:48pm
Viktor... I think you find the Milan players you mentioned were early to mid 90s... From '95 onwards the decade belonged mainly to Juventus inc 4 European conpetition finals on the trot.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 7:06pm
IMO Juventus miss the referees in european competitions.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 6:45pm
@ Viktor, i don't see anywhere where i said Juve owned the 90s. I said they had a powerhouse team which they did. I know that Milan had their Brilliant team late 80s early 90s but what I'm saying is that Juve squad from the mid 90s (Vialli, Ravenelli, Baggio ect) was way stronger and more capable in europe than the current side hence them winning it. Do you not agree?
on the 24th October, 2012 at 6:38pm
Juventus still have a chance of getting through the group, without having to get a result at Shakhtar. Beat Nordsjaelland at home, Shakhtar beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, we beat Chelsea in Turin. I believe this is very possible, so lets not confine Juventus to the Europa League just yet. Even if we don't get through I wouldn't be too disappointed. I wouldn't swap the Champions League for the Scudetto. If a team can win the CL after finishing 4th in their league it is not the Champions League.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 5:47pm
im a massive juventus fan and i said after thegame against chelsea that although juventus created chances aand got the draw they would struggle without a 20 plus striker,so we shouldnt be surprised by this.they more than enough to win the league but not enough for the champions league however juventus are exactly being steam rolled and in two of the three games they should of won hence the big name striker they would have 7 points at least.i don't think they will break the bank for a big name.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 5:16pm
@Marc F

Mid 90s they had it all? Correct me if im wrong but wasnt that during Milans golden era, Basten, Gullit, Rijkard, Papin, Baresi, Maldini, Panucci, Savevic etc etc. I believ that time period belongs to ac milan and not Juventus.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 4:47pm
The problem is that Juve are the strongest team in a very weak league right now. This Juve team isn't a powerhouse like the mid 90s team they had. All of their Serie A success has given a false sense of ability on the European stage. Not that they're a bad team by any stretch but the CL has been a wake up call so far. I guess only time will tell how it all plays out.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 4:31pm
The Juve forwards need to step it up. Unlike in Serie A where the midfield can bail them out, they can't do it in CL. I was suprised with the starting 11, but like that when they were down made the 4-3-3 change. The right side doesn't have the depth for the 3-5-2. Hopefully when Pepe comes back it might change.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 4:21pm
I think what Juve are lacking is the first win, but ultimately We lack the experience in Europe, Chiellini's foul that led to the free kick goal was amateur like, something that shouldn't happen to a player of his quality but experience in Europe is what is hurting Juventus at the moment the most.. As no quality team no matter the strikers goes into three European games and has to come from behind in each of them. It's a clear sign that we lack experience.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 4:20pm
Whilst this Juve side has achieved great things, I am still not convinced they have the attacking ability to usurp the likes of Madrid, Barca, & Bayern etc. Juve are very solid, organised, & efficient, but I still feel that they lack creativity in the final third. If you remove Pirlo from the team, then who else can provide a killer pass or composure? IMO, they not only lack a world class striker, they also miss a world class trequartista Del Piero is missed, on so many levels.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 4:11pm
Im a Neapolitan... a napoli ultra.... i respect good football. All juve fans stick up their team and never claim any wrong doings. Juventus need a fresh in their line up with.a stud whom can change a game with one strike
They are lacking that they play solid as a unit. But cant finish properly. I wish the best for all italian teams in europe. Even though juve are our.rivals. and i think that their is a couple teams stronger then they are this year.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 3:51pm
What happened to the mighty Juvetus????? RUBBISH
Looks like its up to Milan AGAIN to gain coefficient points for Serie A.
on the 24th October, 2012 at 3:38pm
The coaching staff are responsible for the lost. The coaching staff never gamble. Mourinho and Mancini usually attack with 3 forwards early in the game if they are losing. The coaching staff added Bendtner to a 3 man attack late in the game. You need more than 7 minutes to find a winner!
on the 24th October, 2012 at 3:37pm

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