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Juventus point invigorates Nordsjælland

Published: Wednesday 24 October 2012, 9.49CET
Jesper Hansen said a 1-1 draw with Juventus was "almost like a victory" with the FC Nordsjælland No1 also getting to meet his idol, a somewhat downcast Gianluigi Buffon.
by Trevor Haylett
from Parken

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Published: Wednesday 24 October 2012, 9.49CET

Juventus point invigorates Nordsjælland

Jesper Hansen said a 1-1 draw with Juventus was "almost like a victory" with the FC Nordsjælland No1 also getting to meet his idol, a somewhat downcast Gianluigi Buffon.

FC Nordsjælland believe the Group E point they gained against Juventus, their first in the UEFA Champions League, felt almost like a victory, but after Mirko Vučinić's goal salvaged a draw for the Serie A side, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said his team had to raise their game to become serious contenders for the trophy.

Jesper Hansen, Nordsjælland goalkeeper
It's a fantastic feeling – almost like a victory for us. It's a historic first point for us in the group stage so we are very satisfied with our performance. It showed that we have learned from our first two games – we have improved again and we deserved the point. It felt great out there on the pitch and I made a lot of good saves. I hoped it would last all 90 minutes but unfortunately Vučinić put in a good shot so we were unlucky. Afterwards I told Gianluigi [Buffon] that he was my hero and it was an honour to face him on the pitch and he replied that it made him feel very old.

Mikkel Beckmann, Nordsjælland striker
The free-kick was about the only time I hit the ball right tonight so I was pleased – it was a good free-kick. Buffon is a very good goalkeeper but it looked like he was a little too much to one side so I saw a little hole in the corner and luckily I hit it just right. It was not as good a performance as we put in against Chelsea. In the second half, we did not keep the ball – they put us under a lot of pressure and we could not play around that pressure. But it's the points that count and we are very satisfied with one point.

Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus goalkeeper
I was angry after their goal because we gave away a free-kick from the edge of the box in such a naive way and we were punished for that. The free-kick was very good – I just managed to touch it but I don't think I could do much more than that. We are disappointed because we created so many chances in the second half. Luck was not on our side. However, this was a game we had to win, period. I don't know if we will compete with Shakhtar or Chelsea for a qualifying place now. We just know we have to start winning games and we will see if we will are up to the task.

Obviously what we do to win games in our domestic league is not enough to win in the Champions League, so we have to raise our standard from now on. Nordsjælland didn't surprise us – they had a very good match against Chelsea until the last minutes and we knew how good they were. Their goalkeeper made three or four great saves but I think over the 90 minutes we deserved to win because we created seven or eight good chances.

Mirko Vučinić, Juventus striker
It was not one of our better performances and we had some problems in the first half. Nordsjælland were playing well at that stage, but even so we managed to create some opportunities. For the next game we will know so much more about them and that will help us. We were fortunate to score the goal so late in the game. As for their goal, when you play in the Champions League and your opponents get a free-kick that close to goal, it is always likely to be a dangerous situation because of the high quality of the teams taking part in the competition.

Last updated: 04/12/13 19.10CET

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