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Fair point not enough for Juventus's Manninger

Goalkeeper Alexander Manninger conceded that a 1-1 draw at his old side FC Salzburg was a "fair reflection" of what Juventus deserved, but admitted: "We came here expecting to win."

Fair point not enough for Juventus's Manninger
Fair point not enough for Juventus's Manninger ©UEFA.com

Juventus goalkeeper Alexander Manninger believed a draw was a "fair reflection" of proceedings after the Italian giants came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at FC Salzburg in UEFA Europa League Group A.

Manninger, who was making a return to the club where he began his professional career in 1995 and enjoyed a loan spells in 2005/06, admitted the occasion had been "emotional", but nonetheless insisted: "It's about the three points. As a professional you have to put your emotions aside and do your best for the team."

The former Arsenal FC shot-stopper paid tribute to the hosts, but was unable to veil his disappointment at not picking up a first Group A victory. "Salzburg played very well over the course of the match. They had a lot of possession and the better of the chances. On the balance of things I think a point was OK, but we came here expecting to win and we didn't manage to do that."

Salzburg took a deserved lead on 36 minutes when Dušan Švento fired in from the left side of the box, but the visitors re-emerged a different proposition after the interval. Half-time substitute Miloš Krasić was the catalyst, scoring the equaliser within three minutes of entering the fray. "I was pleased with the way the game went for me," said the Serbian international. "Scoring straight away after coming on was perfect."

Marking the pacey wide man was UEFA Europa League debutant Martin Hinteregger. The 18-year-old defender was given a harrowing second half by the Juventus goalscorer, but was nonetheless satisfied with his European bow. "Krasić was like a rocket," said the young left-back. "It was difficult playing against him but he only got two or three chances and only one went in, so I'm very proud to have held my own against a player of his calibre."

Goalscorer Švento admitted Krasić emerging from the bench had taken the home team by surprise. "We had prepared for him to play from the start," he explained. "We knew he was a very good player technically and very quick. He was very dangerous in the second half."

Despite languishing at the bottom of the section with no wins and just one point from their first three group games, the Slovakian midfielder is still hopeful the Austrian titleholders can push on and reach the knockout stage. "Our next game is against Juventus in Italy and if we play like we did today, we can definitely get a result there," he said.

Salzburg could well have taken all three points against Juve had Jakob Jantscher not been denied by Manninger in the final seconds, and the 21-year-old midfielder believes the Bulls have every reason to be confident ahead of the trip to Turin on 4 November. "We put in a good performance and created several chances. We've shown them what we're capable of and I'm sure we'll get our chances over there too."