The Scots went to Turin hoping to find some sort of a turnaround, but just as they’d seen in the first leg at their own stadium, Juventus were focused on winning the competition. Juve went into the second leg of this game having had an alright result against Napoli the previous weekend. Fortunately for them, they were about to face slightly less threatening opponents in Celtic.
Celtic were also in great form themselves (certainly better than the form they’d been in for the first leg), having had a good game against St. Mirren in the Scottish FA Cup the previous weekend.
The Serie A side had a much bigger advantage going into this game, all thanks to the great performance they had in the first leg. They’d managed to score 3 away goals at Celtic Park, creating a mountain for their opponents to climb in Turin. Celtic were to have a different approach to this game if they wanted to have a chance to go through to the quarter finals, and they did!
The Scots started this game with a lot of energy and seemed to really push more, with their first attempt coming at just 9 minutes into the game. The first half was dominated by the visitors up until the 24th minute, when their worst nightmare came to life through a Matri goal. Fraser Forster had done what he could to keep out a Quagliarella shot, but Matri caught it on the rebound and got it into the net. Before this, Celtic were truly threatening the Juventus defense.
Matri’s actions didn’t put the Celtic boys down, though, as they continued to try out some long passes through to Samaras to try and get an equalizer before half-time. 4 minutes later, Ledley tried to get one past a tough Buffon, but to no avail.
Celtic continued to create chances, getting very close but failing to get a final touch. Girogios Samaras and Kayal had a few attempts to get their side forward, but it just wasn’t their night. Juventus, too, tried to get another one in, but the Celtic defense weren’t about to let that happen.
It was still only 1-0 to Juventus at half-time, but the Scots had more or less owned the half. Hadn’t it been for Juventus having the best defense in the competition, perhaps things would’ve been very different for Neil Lennon and his side.
Knowing that they only had 45 minutes to score at least 4 goals, Celtic started their second half with more urgency and faster passes. Neil Lennon took out an inspiring Wanyama for a fresh Efe Ambrose. Meanwhile, the home side didn’t seem to think that 4 goals (on aggregate) were enough and still kept trying to look for another one.
The away side seemed to have given up temporarily, but they were still a little bit motivated as Forrest came on for Matthews. Pogba had continued to work hard, but Celtic’s defense was stronger in the second half. Ambrose and Commons also had some attempts, but the former’s was just off target, and the latter’s was no big meal for Buffon.
Only 20 minutes into the second half, Celtic’s dreams of going through were officially ended when Quagliarella met an Arturo Vidal pass and made it 2-0 for his side, and by now, 5-0 on aggregate! It was surely all over.
The visitors tried to get some sort of consolation after this, but Juve were determined to keep a clean sheet. 4 minutes were added on at the end of the second half, but nothing too significant happened for the away side. It was 2-0 at full time and the home side were through to the Quarter Finals.
On to statistics; the away side had more possession to brag about (as it is always hard playing at the Juventus Stadium). They had 56% possession although Juventus had better and more successful passes. The away side had a total of 14 attempts, while the home side had 8. Juve had better chances and more success in front of the goal. Each side only picked up 1 yellow card. No players were sent off during this match.
Antonio Conte and Neil Lennon lined up the following squads:
Juventus Starting XI:
Buffon (c), Barzagli, Bonucci, Pogba, Padoin, Marrone, Peluso, Pirlo, Vidal, Quagliarella, Matri
Subs: Storari, Chiellini, Vucinic, Giovinco, Isla, Asamoah, and Giaccherini
Celtic Starting XI:
Forster, Izaguirre, Wilson, Mulgrew, Wanyama, Ledley, Kayal, Samaras (c), Hooper, Commons, Matthews
Subs: Zaluska, McGeouch, Miku, Stokes, Nouioui, Forrest, and Ambrose
Final Score: Juventus 2-0 Celtic (Agg: 5-0)
Matri 24′, Quagliarella 65′
Having eliminated Celtic, Juventus are now through to the quarter finals. Their opponents will be announced at the draw in Nyon on March 15th.
Written by Ange Marline