Nerves of steel. That's what we'll need tonight up against the reigning UEFA Cup and European Supercup holders. You can bet your ass there's going to be an electric atmosphere inside the Olimpico tonight when that famous Champions League song blares across the stadium. Playing in front of a sold out crowd screaming their lungs out in unison, hurling flair's, and waiving our club's flag proudly, is an honour that tonight our old guards have deserved and earned. A sentiment that's shared by our coach.
"I evaluated many things. Above all who is in the best shape, but international experience also counts. What mattered the most, though, was the fact in these two years the players have suffered so much and fought hard, making enormous sacrifices to get back into Serie A and Europe. Now I want to give them the chance in this competition that they deserve, that they earned. This is my way of showing all the respect I have for them."
Now if that doesn't get you pumped for this match there's ice running through your veins. The Old Lady is fighting for vindication tonight my friends, and standing in it's path to glory is tough challenger from the former Soviet Union. However we cannot back down. Juventus will rise to the top of this tournament to take back the polish of our allure that was tarnished. We are the Bianconeri, we will be victorious.
Juventus Probables: Grygera, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Molinaro, Camoranesi, Poulsen, Sissoko, Nedved, Del Piero, Trezeguet.
Zenit St. Petersburg Probables: Malafeev, Anyukov, Krizanac, Puygrenier, Sirl, Denisov, Tymoschuk, Zyrianov, Arshavin, Pogrebnyak, Danny 'Money Bags'.
HERE WE GO!!
1' A couple of throw-ins from Molinaro on the left caps off what was to be expected as a pretty choppy first couple of plays. Both teams are still trying to settle down.
2' Zenit look pretty confident here, as they're not afraid to go right at us. Probably a good strategy from their point of view.
3' What about those new Champions League jersey's? Pretty nice... Oh corner for Juventus but the searching ball goes straight to their keeper.
5' God this shitty Chinese Internet stream doesn't have a clock on it Hahaha... I'm just gonna guess when all these things happen then.
6' Great play from Legro to stay with his man and win the ball for us. I like his aggressive marking nowadays.
7' Oh someone on their side tries to get a penalty... too bad he was just after the halfway mark when he dove...
8' Ok now, corner for Zenit... Arshavin sends it in but it's cleared off the line.
10' Legro looks to be alright after he was ninja chopped in the neck! Mellberg's warming up but I have a feeling he won't be needed.
11' Juventus haven't found their pace yet but they better do that fast as Zenit just missed our goal wide. A nice cross and set-up by the Russians I must admit.
12' Poulsen seems to be starting out most of our surge's forward... let's hope he doesn't get too fucking carried away with those damn long balls. KEEP IT ON THE GROUND YOU FUCK.
13' Fuck the dynamic duo hooked up for great opportunity there. ADP sent in a great cross and Trez just missed the away side's goal. Great stuff.
15' I like this ref, he isn't card crazy early on. KEEP IT DOWN MOLINARO Who the fuck is at LB? Nocerino!?
16' Alright, just as I say that Zenit gets a yellow.
18' Trez called for hand ball. The Frenchman was unlucky his touch let him down as he was in a great position to score.
19' Juventus come right back with a nice feed for Trezeguet again but it sails a little high. Nice pass by Grygera though.
20' This is much better play now from Juventus. ADP makes a great run in the box to get around two defenders but he shows too much of the ball to the last defenseman who clears it away.
22' Oh Fuck what a tackle on ADP by the touch line. That could have been a card easily. Wow his free kick bends in right to Camoranesi's head who HITS THE FUCKING POST!!! Dammit that could have been it right there.
25' Now's the time to panic, Camoranesi looks like he's on the sidelines for some treatment... no wait he's trying to get back into the game he's ok.
26' Jesus Molinaro I will kill you myself.
30' Free-kick for Zenit, nice hustle by Nedved to clear the left side threat. Ok yup definitely time to panic. CAMORANESI SUBBED OUT FOR SALIHAMS.
32' Grygera does well to defend against another flanking run. He's playing some good footy tonight.
35' God the crowd is still in good song. Zenit's putting up a great fight tonight but we have to hang in there and keep level with them. Wow what a gritty match!
37' Fuck they came so close again! A short cross was cleared inside the 6 yard box by Grygera just before it reached Zenit's CF.
40' Dammit Grygera is doing a lot of running out there. He makes a nice cutting run into Zenit's box but is tackled heavily and dispossessed.
42' Corner for Juve! Poulsen gets a header on but it's wide and weak. Zenit come the other way with another flank attack. The cross is sent in from the left but Chiellini does very well to reach it first and eliminate the danger.
44' Nice set-up along the left for Molinaro's cross but he fucking shanks it. What else? One minute left here and I can't wait to begin the second-half.
FIRST HALF THOUGHTS: Okay, so we knew Zenit was gonna be tough but I didn't think they'd be this physical. We can't shy away from any tackles now and we cannot forget how much they like to play the wings. They're a fast team with a lot of strength and stamina, so it'll be interesting to see what Ranieri does with our line-up. What we'll need to do is settle down and begin to play our style of football. Granted Camoranesi is out, but we have more than enough players that can step in and dish out some of Zenit's own medicine. Second half about to begin.
45' Nedved gets fouled on the line. Throw in for Juventus. Thank goodness, he had no one available to pass to.
46' Zenit enjoyed 55% possession in the first half and they're off to another similar start. Corner for Zenit by Arshavin, cleared away by Sissoko for another corner. This time Buffon palms it and kicks it up field right to Trezeguet. The Frenchman wastes no time and lets off a blast that goes just high.
48' This game looks retarded, it's almost like we are being out-classed here. What's worse is that it looks like we have no midfield... Are we a couple guys down???? What the fuck! BRING ON TIAGO LOL!
50' Chiellini missed a nice opportunity to put Juventus' cross in the back of the net there. WOW MOLINARO IS THE WORST PLAYER ON EARTH. God help our left side
55' Nedved and the boys are trying their best to get things going in the middle of the park there but damn Zenit close in fast.
56' GREAT SAVE BUFFON!!! Shit I love it when he does that, but I hate when he has to do stuff like that.
58' Thank God, good bye Molinaro hello Paolo! Nice run by the kid to get things started. A little too heavy on the ball for his second touch... probably just nerves.
62' Still a really really gritty game here. Zenit have a free-kick and it's just a little too long for the out-stretched leg of one of their blond guys.
64' We need some fucking magic here from someone or we need a sub. Amauri, Giovinco, Iaquinta... I'll take any at this point.
65' KEEP IT ON THE FUCKING GROUND AHHHHHHHHH
66' Oh this game is really getting me pissed off. We're not really playing anything like ourselves here. We need to crack Zenit somehow.
68' I think we need a change in our midfield. Poulsen and Sissoko can't do this thing by themselves. While I'm speaking Zenit get another yellow off of a foul in their half. We send a cross in and it gets cleared out for a Juventus corner. ADP steps up but sends it too long.
71' Oh my god, ADP gets fucking chopped down again! No fucking card? Shit. The free-kick gets cleared and the game is stopped cause on of their guys are down.
73' Lippi and Secco are seen sitting together in the stands! Hahaha I love it!
75' Another foul on ADP in the exact spot as the last time. Oh Shit shit shit Poulsen gets his head on it with a great effort and their goalie makes an incredible save. THAT COULD HAVE BEEN IT!!! Good cross from Nedved. Hopefully that will give some energy we've been looking for.
76' Free-kick ADP, GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL
WHAT A BLAST FROM AT LEAST 35 METRES OUT! HOLLY FUCK!!
77' I'm fucking flipping out over here sorry about the all the caps. Jesus the stadium is on fire right now! you can't even hear the commentators!
79' The replay is just bloody retarded. I need to calm down and focus here. Juevntus are definitely playing with more confidence but we can't get caught sleeping here. Shit Salihams gets a yellow I think.
80' I have no idea how much time is left. Zenit are still looking fresh though and enjoying a nice spell of possession. Corner for Zenit, thank god it's long.
86' Now it's time to pray we can hold on here!
87' That's it Ranieri make those subs, waste that time dammit. If we walk away with a win we can thank our lucky stars! Amauri comes in for Trezeguet. Nothing we can say about the Frenchman's game tonight, he didn't get any quality balls sent his way.
89' De Ceglie what are you doing all that way up field, get back son. Juventus look to be in control here. THREE MINUTES OF INJURY TIME.
90' Everybody back for Juventus now as they try and hold on to those valuable points.
91' Amauri is running circles around these Russians. Sissoko is too. Great stuff from the Brazilian as he skips around two men, and send in a low cross for Salihams who misses a sitter! Dammit that was two!
WHISTLE BLOWS, JUVENTUS WIN OFF OF A DEL PIERO BRACE! HE'S THE KING OF TURIN TONIGHT!
FULL TIME THOUGHTS: I knew we needed either some magic from someone. Well guess what, we got some Alessandro Del Piero. What an incredible asset this guy is. I'm not gonna lie, we were never looking good in this one. Aside from Camoranesi's post in the first half and Poulsen's effort in the second, Zenit could have scored and would've deserved a lot of credit. That means we have thank our lucky stars for ADP in this one, and come out more focused and better prepared for the next one.
MOTM: You have to be kidding right?
IERI... OGGI... DOMANI... SEMPRE JUVE!!!