Prime News Ghana

Juventus suffer shock Champions League loss to Maccabi Haifa

By Vincent Ashitey
facebook sharing button Share
twitter sharing button Tweet
email sharing button Email
sharethis sharing button Share

Juventus face a tough task if they are to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League after suffering a shock 2-0 loss away to Maccabi Haifa.

Omer Atzili scored two first-half goals for the Israeli side to leave Juventus third in Group H with two games left.

Atzili's first came after only seven minutes when Pierre Cornud's cross bounced off Atzili's back and crept in.

The second saw Atzili fire a shot into the top corner after a bright run and pass by team-mate Frantzdy Pierrot.

Juventus only have three points from their four matches, after they had beaten Maccabi Haifa 3-1 at the Allianz Stadium last week.

Massimiliano Allegri's side now have to win at Benfica on 25 October and at home to Paris St-Germain on 2 November to have any chance of making the last 16.

PSG and Benfica, who are level on seven points, meet in Paris at 20:00 BST.

For Maccabi Haifa, this was their first Champions League group-stage victory since a 3-0 triumph over Manchester United in October 2002.

Two-time European champions Juventus are also struggling domestically after a 2-0 loss to AC Milan on Saturday left them eighth in Serie A, 10 points behind leaders Napoli.

Elsewhere, ten-man Manchester City missed a penalty and had a goal ruled out as they were made to wait to reach the last 16 of the Champions League by Copenhagen in a VAR-dominated contest.

A dramatic opening saw two contentious decisions set the tone for the evening.

Rodri's superb 25-yard effort for City was ruled out after Riyad Mahrez was penalised for handling, while the visitors benefited by being awarded a penalty when the ball struck home defender Nicolai Boilesen on the arm as he competed for a corner with Manuel Akanji.

But Copenhagen goalkeeper Kamil Grabara brilliantly saved Mahrez's spot-kick to the delight of a raucous Parken Stadium crowd before Pep Guardiola's side had Sergio Gomez sent-off for a professional foul on 19-year-old forward Hakon Haraldsson five minutes later.

The decision again came after the Portuguese referee Artur Dias was referred to the pitch-side monitor and left the English champions forced to reshape and play the final hour a man down.

City will still qualify for the knock-out phase of the competition if Sevilla fail to beat Borussia Dortmund in Tuesday's other Group G fixture.