Juve comeback sinks Olympiacos

by | Nov 4, 2014 21:40

Paul Pogba turned it around as Juventus” data-scaytid=”2″>Juventus beat Olympiacos 3-2, but Arturo Vidal had a last-gasp penalty saved.

Paul Pogba turned it around as Juventus beat Olympiacos 3-2, but Arturo Vidal had a last-gasp penalty saved.

Elsewhere in the group, Atletico Madrid won 2-0 away to Malmo and go clear at the top on nine points, Juventus and Olympiacos now have six.

This was a must-win game for the Bianconeri, who changed to a four-man defence with Arturo Vidal in a more advanced role in the diamond midfield. Kwadwo Asamoah and Vidal shook off injuries to start, while Angelo Ogbonna was only fit for the bench, but Martin Caceres, Andrea Barzagli and Patrice Evra were sidelined. Jorge Benitez missed out for the visitors, but Olympiacos were confident after beating Juve 1-0 in Athens to go joint top of the group.

Andrea Pirlo marked his 100th Champions League appearance, only the second Italian to achieve this milestone after Paolo Maldini.

Roberto fingertipped Claudio Marchisio’s strike out from under the bar. Paul Pogba was brought down just outside the box and it was the perfect position for Pirlo to curl his trademark free kick into the near top corner. The midfielder also netted a similar strike against Empoli at the weekend, putting injury problems behind him.

However, it lasted only three minutes. Gigi Buffon fumbled a cross in the heavy rain and from that corner Alberto Botia got in front of Giorgio Chiellini for a splendid header.

Leonardo Bonucci nodded over and Alvaro Morata prodded wide as Roberto came tearing out. Vidal went down under pressure from Eric Abidal, but seemed more eager to look for a foul than take the chance.

Nobody could get the final touch to an Asamoah ball across the face of goal, then Pogba drilled wide. After the restart Vidal wasted a huge opportunity. Tevez surged forward and passed to the Chilean, who tried to pass back rather than go for goal one-on-one with Roberto and it was intercepted.

Olympiacos weathered the pressure and took the lead in Turin against the run of play. A free kick was only flicked on and Delvin N’Dinga was allowed to nod in from six yards.

Fernando Llorente came off the bench and was decisive, as his header took a deflection, hit the upright and bounced in off helpless goalkeeper Roberto.

That got Juve’s tails up and Pogba turned the game around completely just 46 seconds later by drilling in from the edge of the box. It was the Frenchman’s first Champions League goal, scored on his 100th appearance for the Old Lady.

Claudio Marchisio went off with a groin injury, while Elabdellaoui had a huge chance when he dribbled past Asamoah to flash his shot across Buffon, inches past the far post.

Another goal would be important to give Juve a superior head-to-head record with Olympiacos, but Llorente’s header was charged down and Tevez turned the follow-up off target from close range. Roberto’s one-handed save denied Roberto Pereyra and Llorente fired over, but deep into stoppages Milivojevic brought down Tevez for a penalty. However, Vidal stepped up and rounded off a poor individual performance by seeing Roberto fingertip the penalty on to the crossbar. That could’ve been a very valuable goal indeed in terms of the group dynamics.

Juventus 3-2 Olympiacos

Scorers: Pirlo 21 (J), Botia 24 (O), N’Dinga 61 (O), Roberto og 65 (J), Pogba 66 (J)

Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Asamoah (Pereyra 82); Pirlo, Vidal, Pogba, Marchisio (Padoin 70); Morata (Llorente 57), Tevez

Olympiacos: Roberto; Elabdellaoui, Botia, Abidal, Masuaku; Maniatis (Diamantakos 82), N’Dinga (Kasami 77), Milivojevic; Afellay, Dominguez (Fuster 71); Mitroglou

Ref: Atkinson (ENG)

Saved penalty: Vidal 94 (J)

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