LNTUP

Mario Mandzukic left it late as Juventus edge past Sporting at Turin

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With both sides having already beaten Olympiacos and lost to Barcelona, this was a crucial game in what appears a race for second spot in Group D.

The fiery contest was more fiery when Sporting took the lead early right at the 12th minute when Gelson Martins’ low effort was thwarted by Gianluigi Buffon, but the ball bounced off the onrushing Alex Sandro and rolled almost apologetically into the net to hand the visitors a surprise lead.

An early goal lifted the morale of the visitors as Patricio denied Khedira’s brilliant stike for an equaliser, and Jeremy Mathieu also blocked Mandzukic’s shot towards goal.

Moments later Juve got a freekick in the danger area and stepped up the Bosnian maestro, Miralem Pjanic and as expected he calmly chipped it over the wall and straight into the right hand side of Patricio. Juventus got a well deserved equaliser, courtesy of a wonderful free-kick from Pjanic.

Mandzukic again came close to take the lead for Juve but Sporting defender, Christian Piccini got his body on the way of the powerful shot by the Croatian forward and deflected it away from goal.

Higuan’s powerful shot was tipped off onto the post by Patricio, just minutes before the break as the Italian champion sfinished the half in dominant fashion.

Juve’s high pressing play in the first half was absent in the early stages of the 2nd half and Jorge Jesus’ team look to capitalise on it.

Mario Mandzukic again came agonisingly close to registering his name on the scoresheet but the forward’s header was brilliantly kept out by Patricio again.

Substitute Douglas Costa’s excellent run and an inviting cross in the box was met by the Croatian international and this time the ball went in with so much power that the ball thundered into the goal and the net kept resonating for a few moments.

Allegri’s men did manage to come from behind to register their 2nd Champions League victory of this campaign courtesy of Mario Mandzukic’s late winner.