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Man City and Juventus draw in Europa League

Adam Johnson’s first European goal for Manchester City arned Roberto Mancini’s side a point from their Europa League home meeting with Italian giants Juventus.

Luigi Delneri’s visitors took an early lead through Vincenzo Iaquinta’s long-range effort but Johnson levelled 26 minutes later. City lacked the spark to open up the visitors a second time, though, and Juventus almost grabbed all three points when Alessandro Del Piero’s late free-kick hit the crossbar with Joe Hart well beaten.

Juve’s opener came out of the blue. There seemed no danger when Iaquinta cut inside from the left some 30 metres from goal. He let fly a diagonal effort which clipped Kolo Touré’s head and flew past Joe Hart low to the goalkeeper’s left.

Claudio Marchisio scrambled clear a Patrick Vieira header as City sought a reply. Vieira, playing against his old club, then dispossessed Milos Krasić, Carlos Tévez taking over but flashing a shot wide. That would not be the last speculative shot that flew in as City built the pressure. They came close in the 34th minute when Tévez dinked a ball over and Barry’s back header struck the far post.

Johnson latched on to the rebound but Manninger was quickly out to block. Moments later Tévez’s blushed were spared by an offside call when he blazed Johnson’s cross high over but with their next attack City drew level. Johnson timed his run infield perfectly to meet Yaya Touré’s pass and, clear of the Juventus defence, slotted past Manninger.

Mancini’s men pushed on at the start of the second period, with Tevez typically busy in his promptings. Yet chances were scarce. Johnson drove straight at Manninger, then Emmanuel Adebayor failed to get on top of a Tévez cross.

At the other end Juventus’s threat was limited to two Del Piero free-kicks though the second, after 85 minutes, could not have been closer, the ball hitting the underside of the bar and bouncing down on to the goal line. City are level with their 21 October visitors Lech Poznan on four points; Juve are two adrift as they go to Salzburg.