English Premier League champions Manchester City suffered another jolt in the UEFA Champions league group match at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
Finalists of last season, Serie A champions Juventus rallied from a goal behind to hand the City a 2-1 heartbreak in front of home crowd. Juventus once more displayed their disciplined, organized and sacrificial game to register their first European win this season. Massimiliano Allegri‘s tactics hit back sharply at critics who wrote the Italian giants off against the reigning premier league champions.
Allegri startled Manchester City with his 4-3-3 lineup from the beginning. City camp developed a game plan based on the assumption that Juves would start in 3-5-2 formation.
Gigi Buffon under the bar, who won his 150th international cap last week in a Euro-qualifier against Bulgaria, produced another stellar show that proves age is just a number. Juventus defense remained rock-solid throughout the game exhibiting the characteristic Catenaccio system. Going by match stats three of their best tacklers were offensive guys.
City was lucky to have taken the lead in the 57th minute, when Giorgio Chiellini in an attempt to clear a corner-kick, nodded in an own goal at the top corner of the net with City skipper Vincent Kompany breathing down his shoulders.
Juventus took control of the game and equalized in the 70th minute through Mario Mandzukic, who slotted home a Paul Pogba cross.
And it was Alvaro Morata, Juve’s hero of the last season who once more rose to occasion by scoring the winner.
“I will leave the negative results behind us,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “Perhaps we have been anxious, hasty. But tonight’s win puts us in a good position.”
City boss Pellegrini pointed out that his side bounced back after a poor start in the last two seasons.
“I don’t think we need to learn from other years,” Pellegrini said. “The last two seasons we started by losing the first (group) game and qualified for the next stage. We are just starting.”