UEFA Champions League: Celtic 0 Juventus 3
By Football News
Juventus have stormed past Celtic in a physical Champions League encounter, defeating the Scottish side 3-0 win at Celtic Park on Tuesday.
In an encounter marked by several heated clashes, Celtic could not take advantage of their dominance in possession as goals from Alessandro Matri, Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic delivered the result for Juventus.
The result was just Celtic's fifth loss at home in the Champions League since 2001 but it still sees Neil Lennon's side needing to overturn a 3-0 deficit in Turin if they are to advance to the competition's quarter-finals.
Lennon made nine changes from the weakened side that claimed victory at Inverness in the Scottish Premier League on Saturday, with Fraser Forster and Kris Commons remaining in the team, while there were recalls for James Forrest and Efe Ambrose, who arrived back from winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria.
Juventus, meanwhile, made two changes from the side that defeated Fiorentina on Saturday, with Paolo De Ceglie and Luca Marrone dropping out to be replaced Martin Caceres and Leonardo Bonucci, while Nicolas Anelka found a place on the bench.
Celtic looked to give the home support something to cheer about in the opening minutes as Victor Wanyama tried his luck with a long-range effort, but Juventus stopper Gianluigi Buffon was there to tip the ball over.
But with only three minutes on the clock, Celtic lost the away goal as Matri worked his way in behind Ambrose and smashed the ball towards goal. It appeared that the ball had crossed the line before Kelvin Wilson cleared, but Marchisio made sure the ball was over, rifling it into the back of the net.
From then on the home side started to dominate the first half, with Emilio Izaguirre finding Commons twice with crosses from the left wing, but on both occasions the Scotland international could not find the target.
Juventus did have an opportunity on the break to double their lead as Vucinic rounded Forster after taking possession of a long ball, but the striker found himself at too acute an angle to find the target and Celtic managed to clear.
Commons continued to get the chances for the SPL leaders as he tried an overhead kick from a Mikael Lustig cross.
As the game was closing in on the hour mark Celtic fans were up in arms looking for a penalty as Forrest went down under a challenge from Andrea Barzagli, but the referee waved away the complaints.
The hosts should have levelled as Commons played a corner from the left short to Charlie Mulgrew and he swung in a teasing cross right onto the head of Ambrose, but the Nigerian international somehow directed the ball straight at Buffon.
Despite dominating the fixture, Celtic soon found themselves two goals behind after a superb passing move ended with Matri finding Marchisio, who rounded substitute Adam Matthews and placed the ball beyond Forster to secure the victory.
And there was more misery to come for Ambrose as he lost possession on the edge of his own area to Marchisio, who crossed to Vucinic to slot the ball home and put Juventus within touching distance of a quarter-final berth.