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Unbeaten Juventus look for the finishing touch

Published: Friday 28 November 2008, 10.45CET
Juventus have enjoyed an impressive UEFA Champions League campaign so far with three wins and two draws and one more point will enable them to finish on top of Group H and maintain their unbeaten run.
Unbeaten Juventus look for the finishing touch
Juve met Belarussian opposition for the first time when they played BATE on 30 September ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

JuventusBATE

Goals scored9
 
3
Attempts on target39
 
13
Attempts off target41
 
33
Corners40
 
30
Offsides15
 
14
Fouls committed148
 
117
Yellow cards19
 
14
Red cards1
 
1
 
Published: Friday 28 November 2008, 10.45CET

Unbeaten Juventus look for the finishing touch

Juventus have enjoyed an impressive UEFA Champions League campaign so far with three wins and two draws and one more point will enable them to finish on top of Group H and maintain their unbeaten run.

Three victories and two draws in their five games is proof of the strength of Juventus' challenge for this season's UEFA Champions League and they will be hoping to gather at least one more point from their Matchday 6 fixture which will give them top spot in Group H ahead of Real Madrid CF. FC BATE Borisov know that, irrespective of the last-day results, they will finish bottom of the section.

• The Bianconeri passed up opportunities to make it four wins from five games in the 0-0 draw away to FC Zenit St. Petersburg on 25 November, hitting the woodwork through Olof Mellberg and Vincenzo Iaquinta in the first half. Meanwhile, BATE were succumbing to their third defeat of their debut group-stage campaign at home to Real Madrid CF, Raúl González's seventh-minute goal inflicting the damage though the Belarussian champions can take heart from the spirited nature of their second-half revival in Minsk.

• Among the most difficult moments for Juve in the section came in the first game between these sides. After 23 minutes a surprise result looked on the cards as Sergei Kryvets and Igor Stasevich scored to reward a whirlwind start by Viktor Goncharenko's side. Then Iaquinta got to work and his header, followed by a low shot, took the visitors to parity by half-time with no more goals forthcoming after the break.

• That followed a narrow victory for Claudio Ranieri's men on Matchday 1 when Alessandro Del Piero's long-range free-kick immediately put three points on the board at home to Zenit. The two games Juve will recall with most fondness in the section, however, were the home and away meetings with Madrid.

• Goals early in either half from Del Piero and Amauri sent Madrid back empty-handed from their trip to Italy although Ruud van Nistelrooy's 66th-minute header did cut the arrears. That was followed two weeks later by another sterling display from Del Piero, the Juve captain scoring a superb goal in each half to give the visitors a notable 2-0 victory at Santiago Bernabéu.

• Before the 30 September meeting, Juventus had never before faced Belarussian opposition in a competitive fixture. BATE had met Italian sides on four previous occasions, losing three and drawing one, the last result coming in the home leg of a 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup third-round tie with Bologna FC. They lost 2-0 in the away leg and 4-0 away to AC Milan in the first round of the previous season's UEFA Intertoto Cup.

• The game in Minsk between the sides has been one of the highlights of BATE's debut UEFA Champions League campaign, which began at the Santiago Bernabéu when Sergio Ramos and Van Nistelrooy were on target in a 2-0 win for Madrid. Goncharenko's team were hampered by the 62nd-minute dismissal of Anri Khagush for a second yellow card.

• Holding the 1996 UEFA Champions League winners Juve to a draw on Matchday 2 gave BATE, who are only the second Belarussian club to win five Vysshaya Liga titles, encouragement for the back-to-back fixtures with Zenit. In the game in St Petersburg, they were ten minutes away from securing that elusive first victory after substitute Pavel Nekhaychik had applied a cool finish but Fatih Tekke evaded the BATE offside trap to earn Zenit a point.

• Two weeks later in Minsk, Zenit took the opportunity to claim their own first victory. Pavel Pogrebnyak put the visitors on their way and although they lost Sébastien Puygrenier to a red card midway through the second half, Danny sealed the 2-0 win four minutes into added time.

• Juve's Mauro Camoranesi scored for Italy in a 4-1 away win against Belarus in FIFA World Cup qualifying in September 2005. Iaquinta came off the bench for the visitors in the second half.

• The other Matchday 6 game in the group features Madrid at home to Zenit.

• The draw for the UEFA Champions League first knockout round will take place at 12.00CET on Friday 19 December at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. Group winners will be paired against runners-up from different sections with the second-placed teams playing the first leg at home. Clubs from the same associations cannot be drawn together.

Last updated: 04/12/08 10.04CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15276/match=302775/prematch/background/index.html#unbeaten+juventus+look+finishing+touch

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