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Juventus 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk: Two Champions League Games, Two Points

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What happened to Juventus beating people down? And what happened to the damn crowd at Juventus Stadium? #ChampionsLeagueFrustrations

Claudio Villa - Getty Images

The stage was set for a big night in Turin. European football again in the city. The first ever Champions League game at Juventus Stadium. And, maybe more important than anything else, Juventus were coming off a huge dismantling of Roma over the weekend and had all kinds of momentum.

The result: A big fat dud.

Juventus started slow, got down a goal early, and never totally woke up. Sure, Leo Bonucci's goal — and a very good one at that — pulled the home side even at 1 shortly after the visitors went ahead courtesy of Alex Teixeira, but this wasn't the Juventus that we had just seen against Roma. Not even close.

Some of it had to do with the opposition, a very good Shakhtar side that showed their quality as they played incredibly far away from home. Some of it had to do with the fact that Juventus, a team that lives and gets so much motivation from the home crowd, didn't have the same kind of backing that has been around for every game up until Tuesday night. Some

But most of all, it was just a bad night for the Old Lady. Very few players had good games. Very few players had the same kind of games they did against Roma. Almost the entire squad was underwhelming in a game that was incredibly important for the landscape of Group E.

Because of that, every game from here on out only got that much more important.

LE PAGELLE

Buffon: 6.5 - Wasn't to blame for Shakhtar's only goal of the night. However, he made a huge save in the second half to keep the game tied at 1. #GrandeGigi forever.

Barzagli: 5.5 - Struggled with the pace and creativity of the Shakhtar attack for most of the night., especially in the form of Willian and his fantastic fro.

Bonucci: 5.5 - Scoring a goal: GOOD. The other stuff: NOT SO GOOD. That pretty much sums up Leo's night. He was pretty poor on the defensive side of the ball, but made up for it somewhat by scoring the game-tying goal in the first half.

Chiellini: 6 - The "best" of a pretty mediocre defensive group on the night. Like his defensive compatriots, struggled at times with the creativity that Shakhtar have on the offensive side of things.

Lichtsteiner: 5 - The biggest thing when it comes to the Swiss Tank is that he got away with a clear penalty in the first half. However, he definitely had a sub-par game. He contributed on the offensive side of things at times, but much like Juventus' back three, the defensive side of things were pretty shaky — further proof of how potent Shakhtar's attack is.

Vidal: 5.5 - A very quiet night by the incredibly lofty Vidal standards. There wasn't the midfield dominance like there usually is — he only had three tackles on the night before being subbed off in the 85th minute. Usually by that time, King Arturo has double that amount. This time, Vidal was contained and the result is only proof of that.

Pirlo: 5.5 - You could pretty much say the same thing about Pirlo that was summed up by Vidal. It was certainly a frustrating night for the passing master. He showed moments of brilliance, getting an assist in the process. He also showed that he's still a bit off the mark, especially when Juventus needed it most in the second half.

Marchisio: 6.5 - If there's a Man of the Match for Juventus, I'd probably go with Il Principino. He not only displayed what kind of form he's currently in against Shakhtar, but also picked up for a midfield that was really outclassed at times by the visitors.

Asamoah: 6 - I didn't think Kojo had his best game, but when I looked at his passing stats — 67 percent accuracy — I was really taken aback. He gave Srna a bit of trouble down the left flank, but it wasn't the kind of game we have seen from him during other games this season.

Vucinic: 5 - If the Roma win was 'Good Mirko,' Shakhtar was 'Bad Mirko.' It certainly seemed like he had one official turnover, according to WhoScored, so I guess my eyes were a bit deceiving. Still, the fact remains that Vucinic was completely ineffective

Matri: 5 - Much like Vucinic, really struggled to keep things going from over the weekend. He had chances to get on the scoresheet, but couldn't deliver the goods. I understood why Conte started him, especially with him getting some confidence back after scoring against Roma. But it still seems like he's searching for the form he had this time a year ago. And while he searches, it seems like there will be at least one scoring opportunity that will be Matri'd in the process.

Subs

Giovinco: 5.5 - Seba looked bright when he first came on, creating a few chances and going on a few nice runs. But he just fizzled after that. Went quietly into the night like a lot of his teammates.

Quagliarella: 5 - What happened to the Quags that was on form just a week or so ago? I miss that guy. Can we have him back, please? Looks like the fire that had caught quickly against Chelsea and Chievo has gone out in the same fashion.

Pogba: s/v - Came on too late to make a real impact on the match.

Coach

Conte/Carrera: 5.5 - This was the type of game where a coach — or his stand-in — could only do so much. Maybe Carerra could have made a switch or two a little earlier, but, in retrospect, it's not like the substitutions that were made changed the way things were going.

THINGS I THINK I THINK

1. The atmosphere in the stadio sucked, which isn't exactly a new concept to us or the players. Prices for the tickets were jacked up, and the curva decided during the actual game would be a good time to go on a silent strike. My only question: REALLY? The first Champions League at Juventus Stadium and you choose that time to be silent? Yeah, not exactly the right choice, guys.

2. I know in the past that I shy away from complaining about the lack of a world-class prima punta, but this was the kind of game where Juventus really misses the top-flight striker. The chance Matri had in the second half with a wide open goal was a classic miss. As a lot of people have said, these strikers are good enough to get things done in Serie A, but the jury is still out whether it's enough in Europe.

3. All is not lost, as said yesterday in the post-game thread. With two straight games against the Danes, getting anything other than six points is unacceptable. But I can't help but stew on the fact that not winning at home, against a team like Shakhtar will loom large come the return fixtures. That trip to Ukraine on Dec. 5 — four days after the Turin Derby — might very well be the one that decides whether Juventus advance to the knockout stages or not.

4. Why do I always have to write about the crappy games? /has a sad