Juventus FC joined Real Madrid CF in qualifying for the UEFA Champions League last 16 with two games to go - but only after drawing a match dominated by Real Sociedad de Fútbol.
Real held a ten-year, 100 per cent European record at their Anoeta stadium, but despite pinning Juventus deep in their own half for virtually all of the game, the Italian champions produced a superb defensive performance. With Olympiacos CFP defeating Galatasaray SK 3-0 in the other Group D game, a point proved enough for last season's beaten finalists.
Six Juve changes
Both sides rang the changes from Juve's 4-2 win against Real in Turin a fortnight ago. However, while Real coach Raynald Denoueix had "a complete squad" and was able to bring back right-back Aitor López, left-sided midfield player Javier De Pedro and striker Nihat Kahveci, Marcello Lippi was forced into six changes to the team that beat Real. Alessandro Del Piero, David Trezeguet, Lilian Thuram, Gianluca Zambrotta, Enzo Maresca and Salvatore Fresi were all out injured, so Gianluca Pessotto, Alessandro Birindelli and Ciro Ferrara started in defence, Antonio Conte and Edgar Davids in midfield, while Fabrizio Miccoli came in for Trezeguet up front.
Buffon in form
It was Real who were most in need of the points, and from the start they pushed forward, dominating almost all of the first half only to be continually frustrated by Gianluigi Buffon in the Juventus goal. On 12 minutes, he gathered a low Nihat free-kick, and soon afterwards produced a magnificent diving save when the Turkish forward twisted and shot inside the area.
At the other end Sander Westerveld was alert to pick up a Marco Di Vaio cross after he cut into the Real box. Then Buffon was back in action to deny Darko Kovacevic after an angled shot. The Italian goalkeeper then stooped bravely to stop a Agustín Aranzabal cross at Kovacevic's feet, and the one time he was beaten, from a De Pedro cross, no Real player could apply a touch as the ball zipped across goal.
Towards the end of the half Juventus did force two good chances, Mark Iuliano heading off target from a narrow angle following a Pavel Nedved free-kick, and Miccoli forcing Westerveld into a spectacular save with a strong shot. But Real soon reasserted control, but even their ninth corner of the period could not produce a goal as Nihat headed over.
Iuliano saving tackle
After the break Juventus showed a new steel in midfield, and began briefly to have the better of the match. Miccoli shot wide ten minutes into the half, though Kovacevic had an effort blocked following a counterattack not long afterwards. Real began to press, but on the hour Kovacevic was denied as he collected Xabi Alonso's through-ball and rounded Buffon, only for Iuliano to race back and make a saving tackle.
No way through
The pressure continued, though, and Buffon made a point-blank save as Nihat turned and shot from the left-hand side of the area. However, Real remained unable to find a way through Juve's strong defence and offside trap, and Nedved almost produced a sucker-punch as he ran and shot from 20 metres out, but Westerveld was on hand to save.
Antonio Conte made a crucial tackle on Kovacevic only five metres from goal, but Real ran out of time, and the news then came through from Greece that Juventus were through. Real, meanwhile, are only one win away from progression themselves in their first Champions League campaign.