Aiming to continue his 100% record start to the season in all competitions, Ciro Ferrara’s side took on Bordeaux in this Champions League opening tie in Turin. With his squad ravaged by injuries and defensive stalwart Giorgio Chiellini ruled out through suspension, the depleted Bianconeri starting line-up was faced with a difficult task against the French champions.
After Vincenzo Iaquinta had given the Italian giants the lead, a Jaroslav Plasil equaliser meant that the sides had to settle for a point apiece. However, had it not been for the world’s number one goalkeeper producing another fine display it could have been a lot worse for Juve. Despite Christian Poulsen missing two gilt-edge opportunities at the death, on the face of it, Juventus will be satisfied to have begun their European campaign with a draw. Both Cannavaro and Tiago hobbled off in the latter stages of the match to add to coach Ferrara’s mounting injury problems.
This game produced more questions than answers with regards to Juve’s hopes of lifting the Champions League trophy in Madrid next May. Despite being very early in the day to be making predictions of potential winners, with such a talented squad, what would be the minimum expectations of this side? With all eyes on Jose Mourinho’s Inter side, and the old guard of Milan never to be ruled out, Juventus have passed under the radar along with the Viola. After the summer spending spree of Real Madrid, and the irresistible Barcelona favourites to successfully defend their title, not a great deal of attention is being paid toward Turin. Could this be a positive thing for the Bianconeri? After all, without the added pressure of being tagged as one of the favourites for the tournament, this freedom to flourish could lead to them surprising many. With a fit Diego in the starting XI, anything is possible. The Brazilian’s absence was noted, and he will become integral for Juve’s bid for domestic and European success.
The coach conceded in his post-match comments that despite the late chances, Juventus will now have to play catch up to German side Bayern Munich who comfortably overcame Maccabi Haifa. One point well worth noting, if they are to achieve European glory, they will have to improve substantially before they test themselves against the best.