Champions League not as easy as Serie A for Juve

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Oct. 03, 2012 10:44
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Juventus' goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (L) is beaten by Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian forward Alex Teixeira (R) during the Champions league match between Juventus and Shaktar Donetsk on 2 october 2012 at the stadium of Alps in Turin.
Photo by AFP

TURIN - Juventus, unbeaten in 45 Serie A matches, have become used to having things their own way in Italian football but they are finding the Champions League an entirely different proposition.

Fresh from an embarrassingly easy 4-1 win over AS Roma on Saturday, Juve toiled against Ukrainian league champions Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday and were held to a 1-1 draw in Group E.

Juve, who are accustomed to putting their Serie A opponents on the back foot, found themselves under attack from Shakhtar at the Italian club's home ground that has been a fortress in domestic competition.

"We were a bit timid at the start of the game and we knew Shakhtar were a difficult team to play against," said assistant coach Massimo Carrera, standing in for the suspended Antonio Conte.

"Considering the way the game was panning out at one point, we did well to get ourselves back in it," defender Leonardo Bonucci told reporters.

"We stood off them too much at the start and let them take the game to us. That's not how we're used to playing.

"Then when we seized control we caused problems for them. We must learn that you have to go flat out in the Champions League."

Juve last played in the Champions League in 2009-10 and Carrera said the extra fixtures could pose a concern.

"We have less time to work, this is the problem compared to last year and our moves were not flowing," he said.

Claudio Marchisio added: "We have only just returned to the Champions League and we have to show we are good enough for it."

Midfielder Alex Teixeira put Shakhtar in front in the 23rd minute but Bonucci levelled two minutes later.

Juve are third in the group, two points behind Shakhtar and holders Chelsea who beat bottom of the table Nordsjaelland 4-0 in their second match on Tuesday.


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