Europa League Group Stage, Group A
Thursday 30 September 2010, 20.05 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta (Boyata 45), Kompany, K Touré, Boateng (Milner 85), Vieira, Barry, Y Touré, A Johnson, Adebayor (Silva 74), Tevez (c)
Unused: Given, Lescott, de Jong, Jo
Goals: A Johnson (37)
Referee: Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalo
Man of the Match: Vincent Kompany
After conceding a last minute equaliser to Lech Poznan at home, Juventus came to City looking for their first win of the Europa League group stage. City, fresh from their victory over Chelsea, were looking for maximum points in the group, but neither side got what they wanted in the end.
Juventus started the brighter, as City were sloppy in possession and couldn’t hold on to the ball, gifting it back to the visiting side. And they were in no mood to let City off the hook, as Joe Hart was needed to stop a speculative drive from the right. The City keeper was in action again, minutes later, scooping Del Piero’s free kick away from danger.
But, just as it looked like City had ridden the storm, the visitors took the lead. Vincenzo Iaquinta picked up the ball on the edge of the City box and curled an effort towards the far post. Hart couldn’t reach it and it sneaked past his dive and into the back of the net.
City almost hit back immediately as Vieira got up to nod an Adam Johnson corner towards the net, but it was cleared off the line by Marchiso for another flag kick. The second kick caused havoc in the box, as Manninger juggled the ball and it nearly ended up in the net, but the referee spotted a foul and Juventus had the ball.
With 24 minutes on the clock, it had become all City as the home side looked for their equaliser. Tevez miscued a shot after cutting inside from the left, before Adebayor was inches away from connecting to a through ball and Boateng smashed a shot from range over the bar.
Just before half time, Barry flicked a back-header from a Tevez cross onto the post and Johnson couldn’t quite put the rebound in, just after Johnson had driver a shot just over the bar and Vieira skewed one wide of the post.
Then, with 37 minutes gone, Johnson cut inside from the right and latched on to a brilliant through ball from Yaya Touré. He took a touch to deceive the goalkeeper and was able to prod it into the net, despite the efforts of the defender on the line.
As the game headed for the break, there were hearts in mouths as the referee blew the whistle after Krasic went down in the City box under a challenge from Kompany. But he hadn’t given a penalty, it was a free kick to City for an awful dive from the Juventus man and he was rightly booked.
City then started the second half the brighter, with Tevez finding Boateng, but the full back’s cross was cut out. Tevez then weaved his way into the box, but the ball was taken from his toes by Chiellini. Tevez then produced another piece of magic to get a shot away, but it wasn’t troubling Manninger.
On the hour, Vieira tried to chip the ball in to Adebayor, but the ball was just too high for the City forward and he couldn’t grow enough to control it and get a shot in on goal.
Five minutes later and it was still all City, as Barry chest-trapped a Johnson cross-field pass on the edge of the box and volleyed just over the bar under pressure.
A minute later, Del Piero worried City fans with one of Juventus’s isolated attacks, curling a free kick towards the back post. It had Hart beaten, but it also beat the post and flashed a yard wide. At the other end, Adebayor could have converted a Tevez cross on the stretch, after the Argentinian chased a lost cause and kept the ball in play.
Yaya Touré then picked up the ball midway into the Juventus half and carried it towards the box. He worked his way inside, beating three defenders and squared it to Adebayor on the penalty spot. But, under pressure from the Juventus defence, the big centre forward couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and it was cleared.
As the game entered stoppage time, Juventus could have won it with another Del Piero free kick. He powered it past the wall and straight past Joe Hart, but it hit the underside of the bar, bounced down onto the line and out, with the officials decided the whole of the ball wasn’t in the net.
The game slowed down as the board went up, with both sides seemingly happy with a point. Though, with Lech Poznan winning 2-0, City slipped to second in the group.