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Juventus struggles at home against Bordeaux

Jaroslav Plašil struck 15 minutes from time to seal a hard-earned point for Bordeaux in Turin as Juventus struggled to find their flow in driving rain.

Vincenzo Iaquinta had given the stuttering hosts a lead they scarcely deserved just after the hour but Juve, for whom Gianluigi Buffon made a string of wonderful saves, were unable to hold on. Plašil fired in from point-blank range to earn the visitors a Group A point, and Juve’s disappointment was exacerbated when Claudio Marchisio spurned a glorious chance to make it 2-1 in the dying seconds.

The hosts had been on the back foot from the off with Fernando, the deep-lying midfielder, eager to make an impression. He almost made a real one inside three minutes, picking up a loose ball, jinking inside three Juve defenders and firing a powerful angled shot that needed a sharp stop from Buffon. There was a real hunger in Bordeaux’s play, typified as one full-back, Benoît Trémoulinas, had a shot blocked while Plašil on the other flank was causing problems with his industrious running.

The Bianconeri were fitful and could only boast a snap shot from Fabio Grosso, which sailed over, and a toe-poked half chance by Iaquinta as noteworthy attempts inside the first 20 minutes. Sebastian Giovinco, in for the injured Diego, gradually found space to exert some influence, however, and his clever footwork gave Amauri a sight at goal which Cédric Carrasso saved. The 22-year-old then tested the former Toulouse FC goalkeeper himself with a thunderous shot on the half-hour.

But La Vecchia Signora were struggling to find their rhythm as the pitch deteriorated under sodden skies. Mistakes crept back into their play and as they retreated Bordeaux twice threatened from corners, Alou Diarra shooting wide and then heading over. The French side continued to turn the screw after the break and were denied by more Buffon heroics as he repelled Yoann Gourcuff’s shot after the midfielder had burst into the area. Fabio Cannavaro and Nicola Legrottaglie were both called upon to make last-ditch tackles as Juve threatened to crack.

A pause as Carrasso went off injured allowed Ciro Ferrara’s men to take stock, and a subsequent spell of sustained pressure resulted in Cannavaro threading a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of Iaquinta, who rifled low past Carrasso’s replacement Ulrich Ramé. Juventus were transformed, and Felipe Melo almost doubled their lead soon after as Ramé tipped wide. The veteran also reacted well to Amauri’s glancing header just after Buffon denied Fernando with another show-stopping save.

The Italy No1 could do nothing about the equaliser, though, as Plašil stole in at the far post to tap in after Fernando had flicked Gourcuff’s free-kick into his path. Buffon and his team-mates could only look on in dismay when, as they laid siege to the Bordeaux goal in the closing stages, Marchisio sent a fierce effort crashing against the bar.

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