Champions League Europe — 20 September 2012

Italian champions Juventus fought back from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw at European champions Chelsea in their first group game of the Champions League.

The Bianconeri never looked out of the clash, even at two goals down they still looked able to salvage something and they did through a late goal from substitute Fabio Quagliarella.


Juventus have endured a short hiatus from European competition and they looked determined not to be beaten on their return to European action.

The likes of Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio were always a threat going forward from their midfield positions and Vidal’s effort that put the visitors back in the game was superb.


The ever consistently inconsistent Mirko Vucinic led the line well for Juve, but I can’t help wondering how much more of a threat they would have been with a prolific striker playing up front. Alessandro Matri finished as Juve’s top Serie A scorer last season, with just 10 strikes to his name.

That isn’t exactly a prolific return for a club that finished as champions of a major league. Matri was consigned to the bench last night, alongside Arsenal loanee Nicklas Bendtner. I don’t either of them are prolific, or the answer to Juve’s search for a goal poacher.

One of their forward targets this summer was Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente. The big striker is set for talks about his future this week. His contract is up next summer and he would be able to sign a pre-contract agreement in January with foreign clubs.

As I’ve previously stated in the past I believe that Llorente could be an ideal signing for the Old Lady. They should attempt to get him to sign a pre-contract agreement in January, or negotiate a knockout fee to bring the striker to Turin earlier.


Juve are in a tough group with Chelsea and Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk. However, I expect Antonio Conte’s men to qualify and probably make the quarter-finals of the competition at least.

Had they secured the striker they were looking for in the summer I believe they could have went even further in the competition, whether they will anyway is anybody’s guess.

Can Juventus be a threat to the big guns in the Champions League?


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David Nugent

David is a 29 year-old football fan and journalist, who is passionate about the beautiful game. He is a lifelong supporter of Premier League Everton and likes nothing better than a healthy discussion about the world's favourite sport.

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