Zenit and Juve draw a blank
Zenit St Petersburg's Champions League hopes hang by a thread after drawing 0-0 with Juventus.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 25/11/08 8:06pm
Zenit St Petersburg's UEFA Champions League hopes hang by a thread after drawing 0-0 with Juventus on Tuesday.
Both teams had a handful of opportunities to claim the three points, but it was a case of poor finishing on a below freezing evening at the Petrovsky Stadium.
Portuguese forward Danny had the best chances for Zenit in a game which the home side dominated, but Claudio Ranieri will feel his outfit should have left with maximum points after twice being denied by the woodwork.
Zenit must pray that Real Madrid fail to win in their Group H clash with BATE Borisov if their ambitions of making the knock-out stages are to be realised.
There were chances galore in the first half as Juventus were twice denied by the post.
Olof Mellberg struck the post first after he powered a header in a crowded six-yard box from a delightful Mauro Camoranesi free-kick on nine minutes.
Zenit had the lion's share of possession in the opening 45 minutes, but it was the Italian giants who came closest as they were again denied by the post in the 19th minute when Vincenzo Iaquinta's side-footed effort cannoned off the upright.
The rangy No.9 was a constant thorn in the opening period and the Italian international should really have scored after Pavel Nedved's clever reverse pass found Cristian Molinaro who teed up the striker.
Zenit's best chances were courtesy of set-pieces and captain Anatoliy Tymoshchuk came closest with a rasping free-kick from 20 yards, which Alex Manninger expertly dived low to tip the shot for a corner.
The home side did put the ball in the back of the net from the following corner, but Ivica Krizanac was clearly in an offside position when he slotted home.
The Serie A giants came out of the blocks first in the second half with both Alessandro Del Piero and Nedved testing Zenit keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev.
Danny brought out a smart save from Manninger on 48 minutes with a powerful right-footed drive as the game continued to be end-to-end action as it was in the first period.
Then came the two best chances of the match for either side - on 54 minutes Del Piero somehow missed from close range as strike partner Iaquinta teed up his compatriot.
And it was Danny's turn to squander a chance after he was picked out by the unusually quiet Andrei Arshavin.
The Portuguese international had the goal gaping, but Claudio Marchisio's last-ditch block prevented the forward from scoring.Danny had another chance to put his team ahead on 81 minutes, but as his toe-poke effort whistled past the post, so may have Zenit's Champion League aspirations.
|Zenit St Petersburg||Team Statistics||Juventus|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||3|
|6||Shots off Target||6|