Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Shakhtar 0-1 Juventus: Champions League Group E
The Ukranians put the Italian champions under pressure early on, pressing the Bianconeri defense and nearly harassing Leonardo Bonucci into a turnover in the penalty area.
Arturo Vidal showed his dismay to the referee at being shown a yellow card just 7 minutes into the match, but Shakhtar failed to capitalize on the ensuing set-piece as Eduardo skied a header high over the bar and was whistled for a foul to boot.
On 21 minutes, Juventus broke out in verbal protest when Fernandinho appeared to handle Giorgio Chiellini's attempt on goal from an Andrea Pirlo free-kick, but the referee waved play on despite the visiting side having a strong case for a penalty.
Sebastian Giovinco had a glorious opportunity to put his side on top as the clock neared the half-hour mark, but went just wide of the post with a left-footed effort from a central position after good work from Mirko Vucinic.
Soon after, Vidal tried an extremely audacious volley from miles out, sending the ball into orbit far over Andriy Pyatov net.
Pirlo missed by inches as he targeted the far post from distance, whilst Olexandr Kucher was booked for the Ukrainians when he lunged into his third crunching tackle of the day.
Just before half, Pyatov easily gripped a Giovinco drive from 20 yards when the diminutive Italian had the opportunity to play Paul Pogba through instead, whilst the young Frenchman volleyed over from a corner to close the opening 45 minutes.
After the restart, Yaroslav Rakitskiy attempted to catch Gianluigi Buffon out from afar with a left-footed strike, but the legendary keeper was alert on his line.
The home side threatened once again to break the deadlock moments later, but Alex Teixeira went just wide of the mark on the rebound when Buffon parried a dangerous curling free-kick.
At the other end, Pirlo whistled one past the far post, whilst Henrikh Mikhitaryan came roaring forward on the counter to blaze just past the upright for Shakhtar as the match began to pick up in intensity.
On 56 minutes, the deadlock was finally broken. Stephan Lichtsteiner played a dangerous low cross into the area that eluded the charging Giovinco and ricocheted into the back of the net off of Kucher as the defender desperately tried to break up the play.
Mircea Lucescu replaced Teixeira with Ilsinho as his side began to search for a response.
Juventus had a nervy moment on 67 minutes when a bout of confusion in the area saw the ball deflect off of Kwadwo Asamoah to hit the base of the post from a Razvan Rat cross.
The Bianconeri wasted a golden opportunity to grab an insurance goal just after, but Vucinic hesitated when he rounded the keeper, allowing the Shakhtar defense to recover and block Pogba's penultimate shot with a sea of bodies on the line.
Marko Devic and Stepanenko each went for goal from the centre of the box, but were both turned away by brave blocks from the Juventus defense.
Pogba was flagged for offside in acres of space as replays revealed an incorrect call, whilst Alessandro Matri came on to replace Vucinic on 88 minutes. In injury time, Angelo Alessio elected to withdraw Giovinco for Emanuele Giaccherini, leaving his third substitution unused as time ran out and elation took over for Juventus.
Man of the Match: Giorgio Chiellini, Juventus (100% aerials; 5 tackles; 84% passing)
Kucher OG (56')