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Shakhtar Donetsk have been a fairly impressive side for years now, and they acquitted themselves superbly against Juventus in Italy, earning a 1-1 draw in their second Champions League match of the season. It wasn't even that the hosts paid particularly poorly -- Shakhtar had a play and executed it to perfection, and were perhaps unfortunate not to have taken all three points.
Juventus should consider themselves lucky that they weren't down to ten men for most of the game. The hosts were having problems with Willian in the early going, the tricky Brazilian wandering through their defence almost at will, and Stephan Lichtesteiner resorted to hauling him down in the penalty box as he tried to turn in a cross. It was a clear-cut foul and a straight red on top of that, but the referee waved off Shakhtar's protests.
They managed to get their goal shortly afterwards, however. Willian was at the heart of things once again, cutting inside and seeing a shot blocked before retrieving the rebound and laying it off for Alex Teixeira. The midfielder made no mistake, blasting in off the crossbar and leaving Gianluigi Buffon utterly helpless.
But Juventus had the quality to come back, and they replied in short order. The goal was from a rather unexpected source, however -- Alessandro Matri managed to earn a corner, which was pinged out to the unmarked Leonardo Bonucci. No sooned could Shakhtar say 'don't worry, it's just Bonucci' than the centre back annihilated the ball into the top corner, leaving Razvan Rat with a new haircut in the process.
Halftime came with the match finely poised. Shakhtar had given pretty much as good as they'd got, which wasn't really unexpected with this Juventus side's lack of Champions League experience. However, the hosts' quality started to tell in the second half, pegging back their visitors deep in their own half and generating a host of chances.
If they'd had a striker not named Alessandro Matri, maybe they'd have put one of them away. The forward was presented with a glorious chance to haul his side into the lead, but completely fluffed his lines, ballooning an attempted chip over Andriy Pyatov's crossbar. A Stephan Lichtsteiner cross might might also have resulted in a second for the Italians, but Sebastian Giovinco wasn't able to get onto the end of the delivery.
But apparently Juventus' spell of superiority was merely a catching of the breath for Shakhtar. They were always looking dangerous on the counterattack, but they slowly worked their way back into the possession battle as well. By the end of the match, it was the Ukrainians who were well on top, and they would have come away with all three points if not for wasted opportunities from Henrik Mkhitaryan and Willian.
A 1-1 draw in Turin is a result Shakhtar will be happy with, although Juve certainly won't be. They'd been slight favourites to top the group after the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, but dropping points at home throws the whole thing into a confused mess. It'll be another couple of match days before we have any real clue how Group E will end up shaking down.