City taught Champions League lesson by Juventus

Date published: Tuesday 15th September 2015 10:59

Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli of Juventus celebrate victory

Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli celebrate

Manchester City surrendered the lead as they lost their Champions League Group D opener 2-1 to Juventus.

City looked in control at the Etihad Stadium after taking a controversial 57th-minute lead when Giorgio Chiellini turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Vincent Kompany.

But Manuel Pellegrini’s men paid the price for failing to convert a series of other chances as Juve hit back with a Mario Mandzukic finish and a stunner from Alvaro Morata.

It was yet another example of City failing to deliver on the biggest stage, and was actually a surprise given the form of the two sides coming into the game.

Juve, last season’s runners-up and Serie A champions for four successive years, had failed to win any of their opening three games while City had won five in a row without conceding.

But without star striker Sergio Aguero – who made a surprising late appearance off the bench having initially been ruled out with a knee injury – City lacked a cutting edge.

Raheem Sterling spurned an early chance after Fernandinho robbed Stefano Sturaro. The former Liverpool man opened his body and tried to place his shot inside the far post but veteran Gianluigi Buffon saved with his feet.

It was some time before City threatened again as Juventus gained a grip with £70million-rated Paul Pogba – a reported target for City last summer – strong in possession and on-loan Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado looking dangerous.

Pogba slid the ball into the net from a Cuadrado cross but Morata was flagged offside.

City had a good spell as Fernandinho won the ball from Pogba and fired over before Aleksandar Kolarov sent a free-kick across goal.

Wilfried Bony then twice fluffed his lines by slicing horribly wide after a smart run and then failing to turn in a low Kolarov cross. Fernandinho had another good chance when a clearance fell to him and sat up nicely but his powerful drive flew wide.

The second half began slowly but changed completely after City grabbed the lead.

Kompany celebrated as if he had claimed his third goal of the season as he rose to meet a David Silva corner but the ball went in off Chiellini. Chiellini felt he had been impeded by Kompany and protested to the referee, but to no avail.

Manchester City v Juventus match data

Manchester City v Juventus match data


The goal energised City and moments later Silva broke free and played in Sterling. Buffon saved well and then quickly regained his footing to produce an even better stop to deny the inrushing Silva. Bony fired in another shot from a tight angle but again Buffon saved.

City were made to rue those misses as Juve responded. Joe Hart needed to save from Sturaro and City had a big let-off when Pogba miscued a volley.

But the Italians broke through when Pogba swung in a cross for Mandzukic and the Croatian timed his run to perfection to guide the ball in via the far post.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini surprisngly opted to take off the influential Kompany at this point and hand a debut to Nicolas Otamendi. The City skipper had shown no obvious signs of injury and did not look pleased.

Otamendi was caught out as Morata fired Juve ahead nine minutes from time, but it was all about the finish.

Morata broke clear on the left and curled an unstoppable shot round Hart and inside the far post.

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