Honours even at Allianz
Juventus frustrated Bayern Munich as they played out a 0-0 draw in Group A of the Champions League.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 30/09/09 10:38pm
Juventus frustrated Bayern Munich as they played out a 0-0 draw at the Allianz Arena in Group A of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.
Louis van Gaal's Bayern went into the encounter aware that three points would put them on the brink of the knockout stages following a victory over Maccabi Haifa in their first fixture.
But the German giants, who were under pressure in the wake a league defeat at Hamburg, were thwarted by Juventus as the two European heavyweights failed to break the deadlock.
Bayern shaded a first half played with a pace and purpose more akin to a domestic encounter than continental competition, but Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery could not convert well-worked opportunities in a goalless 45 minutes.
Van Gaal's summer signing Arjen Robben had limped out of the match shortly before half-time and the Dutchman was missed after the interval as the tempo of the match dropped and a goal proved out of reach.
Juventus were undoubtedly left delighted with the point as Ciro Ferrara's troops worked effortlessly to earn another share of the spoils after being held at home by Bordeaux two weeks ago.
Bayern fielded a three-pronged forward line which would be the envy of most clubs in Europe as Robben, Ribery and Miroslav Klose started, with Luca Toni and Mark van Bommel still recovering from injury.
Juventus, Serie A's second-placed side, dropped the goal-shy Amauri to the bench as former Werder Bremen star Diego, having recovered from a thigh injury, earned a start on his return to German soil.
It was Bayern who made the most of the opening stages, with this season's Bundesliga success story Muller collecting a pass from the jet-heeled Robben and dinking just wide of Gianluigi Buffon's goal when the Juventus captain was beaten.
Ex-Chelsea winger Robben was at his lively best as Bayern persisted in threatening, but there were also signs of the disappointing traits which marred his time at Stamford Bridge as a final ball was lacking and theatrical falls were in full supply.
English referee Howard Webb was called into action inside 10 minutes when the Yorkshireman brandished his yellow card at Juventus' in-form veteran striker David Trezeguet as a lively opening became briefly disjointed.
But intent returned in the 20th minute when Ribery demonstrated why he was linked with Real Madrid as he produced a jinking run to shave so narrowly over the crossbar that the Allianz groundsmen will be busy with the paint on Thursday morning.
Juventus threatened at the opposite end in an engrossing encounter, and Diego was the man pulling the strings as Ferrara's side probed Bayern's weak left-back position, occupied by Edson Braafheid, but goalkeeper Hans-Jorg Butt was not tested.
Pony-tailed Italy international Mauro Camoranesi was impressive alongside Diego in Juventus' midfield and he forced Butt to dive full-length in order to save low to his left shortly after the half-hour mark.
The other side of Camoranesi, though, was evident when he went into Webb's notebook for persistent foul play after being undone by Ribery, who was producing a masterclass to silence any doubters of an estimated £70million valuation.
Bayern suffered a setback on the stroke of half-time as the injury-prone Robben limped out of the match and was replaced by Croatia's Ivica Olic.
The second half picked up the end-to-end style of the first and Juventus forward Vincenzo Iaquinta should have done better when attempting to head into the path of striker partner Trezeguet, who had peeled off Braafheid.
Ribery remained a thorn in Juventus' side and the France international was cynically hauled down by Claudio Marchisio, earning the Italy midfielder a booking, before then producing a fired, low cross which narrowly missed Olic at the back post.
Juventus responded by bringing on Christian Poulsen in the 60th minute as a disappointed Diego made way in an apparently pre-planned tactic to shelter the playmaker as he recovers match fitness.
Bayern continued to dominate possession, but Robben was being missed and Van Gaal's side lacked the cohesion of the first half as Juventus produced a more controlled, although unthreatening, style to disturb their hosts.
Amauri was introduced with just more than 15 minutes remaining as a disappointing night for Trezeguet came to an end, while Mario Gomez replaced Klose for Bayern as both managers looked for a matchwinner.But the changes made no impact as the match limped towards a stalemate and Webb brought proceedings to an end to the visible and audible frustration of Van Gaal as Bayern attempted to break from a corner.
|Bayern Munich||Team Statistics||Juventus|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|2||Shots on Target||2|
|10||Shots off Target||6|