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Juventus blunt Riazor's edge

Published: Tuesday 26 November 2002, 22.54CET
RC Deportivo La Coruña 2-2 Juventus FC Honours even at the Riazor.
Published: Tuesday 26 November 2002, 22.54CET

Juventus blunt Riazor's edge

RC Deportivo La Coruña 2-2 Juventus FC Honours even at the Riazor.

RC Deportivo La Coruña and Juventus FC shared the spoils at the Riazor stadium after a tremendous 2-2 draw in their opening UEFA Champions League Group D game.

Dramatic comeback
The Serie A side recovered from falling two goals behind in the first eleven minutes thanks to goals from Alessandro Birindelli and Pavel Nedved, before the pace of a scintillating game caught up with both sides.

Early save
Gianluigi Buffon had already been forced into a terrific diving save from Lionel Scaloni's low, angled drive when Deportivo took the lead on nine minutes. Joan Capdevila eluded his markers down the left and swirled in a beautiful cross which Diego Tristán headed across the goalkeeper at the far post for Deportivo's first.

Makaay strike
Within two minutes, the home side were two ahead, and once more, Capdevila provided the ammunition, with a low ball which Roy Makaay hammered past Buffon with aplomb.

Disallowed goal
Deportivo's lead could easily have been halved three minutes later when Aldo Duscher's attempted clearance from a corner somehow span into Juanmi García's goal, but Juventus were furious to see the goal disallowed for pushing.

Terrific save
That disappointment spurred the visitors into action and for the remainder of the half, they forced Deportivo to defend deeper and deeper inside their own half. Juanmi was forced to make a tremendous save after 24 minutes as Birindelli's cross found Marco Di Vaio racing into the area.

Unstoppable shot
However, there was precious little he could do to stop Birindelli's 38th-minute effort. Birindelli cut in from the left and struck a phenomenal 30-metre drive which crashed into Juanmi's goal off the angle of post and bar.

Close shave
Five minutes after the break, Alessandro Del Piero nearly levelled the scores when Di Vaio's cross was deflected kindly towards him, but his header from close range was glanced across the face of goal.

Nedved equalises
However, Juventus did not have long to wait for their equaliser, and after 57 minutes, it was Pavel Nedved who scored it. As Juventus broke in numbers, Di Vaio looked to have teed himself up for a shot on the edge of the box when the Czech playmaker sped through to drive the ball low past Juanmi.

Tiredness tells
The match was set up for a grandstand finish, but with both sides tiring, it did not quite happen. Deportivo steadied themselves with a series of substitutions, Juventus abandoned their attacking tactics and the game ground slowly to a halt.

Last chance
The nearest either side came to a winner was nine minutes from time when Víctor Sánchez fed a ball in from the right for fellow substitute Alberto Luque. The striker made a terrific turn to lose his marker but could not find the final shot to lift the ball over the diving Buffon.

Last updated: 27/11/02 13.27CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=0/matches/round=1637/match=1038233/postmatch/report/index.html#juventus+blunt+riazors+edge

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