Champions League football is back in Turin, although the tenants of Juventus Stadium have yet to really hit top form. The Serie A title holders have been matched throughout the first half, which finished 1-1, by Shakhtar Donetsk, who are playing some brilliant football and could easily be winning. Indeed, Juve should probably be down to ten men.
Juventus had been having trouble with Willian all evening, and Stephan Lichtsteiner decided to take matters into his own hands by hauling the Brazilian down in the six-yard box as he tried to get on the end of a cross. It was a blatant penalty and a clear red card, but nothing was given, much to the horror of Shakhtar's dismayed players.
Fortunately for Shakhtar, they got the lead they deserved thanks to Willian, who wandered straight through the Juve defence and then for Alex Teixeira after getting a shot blocked. The midfielder did his job superbly, blasting straight past Gianluigi Buffon to make it 1-0.
But then Juventus came storming back. A blocked Alessandro Matri shot led to a corner, and it was one straight from the training ground. Leonardo Bonucci pulled back, was fed with a simple pass, and his shot nearly decapitated Razvan Rat on the line. 'A headless rat' is probably a good way of describing Shakhtar's defence on that one.
That was all the scoring in the first half, but there was more fun to be had. It's been a thoroughly entertaining clash of styles, with considered, studious work from Juventus contrasting thoroughly with the buzzing orange shirts of their guests. Shakhtar are unlucky to be level here, so we'll see what happens in the second half.