City Top Europa League Group After Drab Affair
After a week of controversy surrounding Carlos Tevez, Manchester City responded terrifically in Turin by topping their Europa League group with a 1-1 draw against Juventus.
Surprisingly, Juventus with this point, managed to draw all six of their group games with Jo`s equaliser cancelling out youngster Giannetti`s strike.
Previously securing qualification against Salzburg, City travelled to Turin knowing a draw would most-likely see them top the group.
The draw did prove enough and City escaped facing the Champions League drop puts as well as other Europa League group toppers.
As expected, the match was a drab affair with both sides resting several first-team regulars.
Del Piero was Juventus`s most talented and experienced player on show and this became apparent with his trickery and guile causing City problems.
Despite City`s line-up only featuring two starters from Saturday`s win at West Ham, chances were created and the threat from the home side was minimal.
Striker Jo, had the first great chance of the encounter after a burst of speed from Richards, but the Brazilian failed to slot home from close-range.
Neither side played with a desirable tempo with their league fixtures seemingly more important.
Tedious and tiring was the only way to describe the match with chances few and far between, but after Del Piero twisted and turned his way past Richards, his low cross was turned in by Giannetti.
The goal on the stroke of half-time meant that City didn`t have enough time to respond. The second half, however, was controlled by City and an equaliser looked certain.
Adam Johnson was becoming more involved and his pace and skill, at times, was proving difficult to handle.
City felt hard done by on two occasions when stonewall handballs in the Juventus box were unseen by the referee.
However, even with the setback, the pressure from City was increasing. And after missing several easier chances Jo, turned comfortably and slotted home after Johnson`s through ball.
The late goal ensured City topped their group as our European travels continue.