Juventus 1 Manchester City 1

Europa League Group Stage, Group A
Thursday 16 December 2010, 18.00 KO

City: Given, Boateng, Richards, Boyata, Bridge, Wright-Phillips (Chantler 90), Milner, Vieira, A Johnson, Nimely (Zabaleta 61), Jo
Unused: Taylor, Ibrahim, Kay, Mee, Elabdellaoui
Goals: Jo (77)
Booked: Zabaleta

Referee: Istvan Vad
Man of the Match: Adam Johnson

Having already qualified for the next stage of the Europa League, City fielded a weakened side for the trip to Turin. That being said, it was the visitors that started the brighter and should have taken the lead almost immediately. Richards charged down the right flank and delivered a low cross towards Jo, but the striker couldn’t connect to the ball and slot it home.

Boyata then had to be alert to stop Del Piero from getting his shot away, putting in a cracking tackle in the area, before Nimley almost got his first City goal with a header from a Johnson free kick, but it was just wide.

Del Piero had an ambitious effort on 13 minutes, but it cleared Given’s crossbar comfortably, before Jo had a cross blocked as he got onto a lovely through ball from Vieira. A minute later, Adam Johnson wanted a penalty for a foul by Chiellini, but it was nothing doing from the referee.

With 10 minutes to go until half time, a one-two between Jo and Nimely almost set the Brazilian through, but the return pass was slightly too hard for him to latch onto. Nimely then hit the post with a header, but it wouldn’t have counted as the referee had spotted a foul in the build up.

A dangerous Juventus free kick was flicked wide by Sissoko, before the home side took the lead, somewhat against the run of play. Del Piero worked up to the by-line and go his low cross in through the six-yard box. Gianetti got in front of Boyata and was able to flick the ball home, just before half time.

The second half started in much the same was as the first – with Jo missing an opportunity to get himself on the scoresheet. Johnson crossed the ball from the left and Jo got up ahead of Chiellini, but his header was wide of Manninger’s far post.

With five minutes of the second half played, Jo then had the ball in the Juventus net, but it was wrongly ruled out for offside, before Adam Johnson almost squeezed the ball into the net, but it was well blocked. At the other end, Given had to be alert to tip a Krasic effort over the bar.

On the hour, Juventus survived another City penalty appeal, though this time it looked to have been blatant. Nimely shot and it looked dangerous until Chiellini saved it – literally – with both hands, but the referee turned the appeals down. Sissoko should then have doubled the lead with a free header from a corner, but he couldn’t hit the target.

Milner then volleyed wide from a Jo knock-down, before, with 20 minutes left, Manninger dived at the feet of Jo to deny his shot at goal. It wouldn’t have mattered, though, as the flag had, again wrongly, been raised for offside.

Another blatant handball shout was turned away by the referee shortly after, as Juventus cleared the danger, and City appeared to be struggling to create chances. That was, of course, until Jo equalised for the visitors. Johnson found the Brazilian on the edge of the box and he took a touch, turned and fired into the bottom corner of the net.

Richards almost put the visitors in front immediately, but he couldn’t quite turn Johnson’s cross into the net, before Adam Johnson himself could have won it for the Blues right at the death, but he couldn’t get his free kick on target. It finished 0-1 in Salzburg, leaving City to top the group.

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