Italian giants Juventus bowed out of the Europa League after a 1-1 draw away to Lech Poznan. After failing to qualify for the Champions League this season, the Bianconeri were hoping to go one better in Europe’s second tier club tournament.
If it isn’t bad enough that Juventus lost to a little known Polish team, the Bianconeri’s chances of winning some silverware this season just got slimmer after their shock elimination.
Juve coach Luigi Del Neri regreted the many chances his side failed to convert.
“It was not a regular match, but we deserved to win,”
“We did everything we could, but made five or six errors in front of goal.
“We played under a lot of snow, but this was not the match that cost us our passage through to the knock-out stage.”
Juventus now prepare to face Catania at Angelo Massimino stadium on Sunday. Meanwhile,in other Europa League news, Manchester City soldiered on with a 3-0 thrashing of Salzburg.
New signing Balotelli scored two goals to cap one of his best performances for the Citizens since joining in the summer. Adam Johnson rounded off the victory with a curling shot in the 78th minute that beat Gerhard Tremmel.
Balotelli was named man of the match and after his exploits could become a more regular starter under Coach Roberto Mancini further alienating fellow strike partner Emmanuel Adebayor.
City progressed through to the next round as well as earning the title of favourites. In other news current holders Atletico Madrid also suffered a shock 3-2 home defeat to Greek club FC Aris.
The game seemed to be heading for a draw until Nikos Lazaridis 81st minute strike. The result means that both Atletico Madrid and FC Aris are level on points in Group B with one game left to play.
Bayer Leverkusen were also winners on the night beating 1-0 away to take them top of the table in Group B. Other results are as follows:
Hadjuk Split 1 AEK 3
Young Boys 4 Stuttgart 2
Sampdoria 1 PSV 2
Odense BK 1 Getafe 1
Zenit 3 Anderlecht 1
Metalist 2 Debreceni 1
Gent 1 Levski 0
Sporting 1 Lille 0
Photo credit: from franfiorini