This guy. What a goddamn tank. - Claudio Villa
This is cool. Juventus go to the bitter cold of Ukraine, get three points, and win the group. This should happen more often. Well, maybe two of those. You can choose which ones.
Remember the last time Juventus needed a positive result to go through in the Champions League?
Wait, don't answer that. I don't want to rehash any kind of old feelings — or rage — that might have stemmed from said game against some Bayern Munich squad who had a dude with the last name of "Butt" as their goalkeeper.
Juventus needed at least a point to return to the Champions League's knockout stage, a place that had become quite the Juve-less environment in recent memory. It wasn't supposed to an easy task, either. A trip to Ukraine in the middle of winter where the temperature is hovering just around freezing levels. That sounds fun, doesn't it?
As a former U.S. President would say: Mission Accomplished.
I won't get into tactics and break the game down. That's what Ivo is here for. What I will say is this: Juventus went into one of the toughest environments there is in the Champions League — regardless of what the weather may or may not have been — and got more than just the point they needed. They got all three.
Who cares that the lone goal of the match came out of a little help from Shakhtar, Juventus deserved this win. There weren't a lot of style points, but who cares — three points and our boys finish top of the group. Not bad. Not bad at all. And the way Juventus defended the lead, outside of a nervous moments, was something that reminded me just how far this team has come since Antonio Conte took over.
We aren't the only people to notice, either:
Chiellini roars at Buffon after an important clearance. This lot know how to defend a lead.— Amy Lawrence (@amylawrence71) December 5, 2012
Grinta, baby. Grinta, grinta, grinta.
Oh, and one more thing: We'll see you at the stadio on Sunday, Antonio. It's gonna be good to have you back (and to write about it).
Who's your Man of the Match?
Stephan Lichtsteiner (33 votes)
Giorgio Chiellini (74 votes)
Arturo Vidal (36 votes)
Leonardo Bonucci (6 votes)
Mirko Vucinic (4 votes)
153 total votes