An injury time winner from Igor Tudor gave Juventus victory over Deportivo in an enthralling match.
And if Juve avoid a heavy defeat against Basle in their final game the Italians will qualify for the quarter-final stage along with group winners Manchester United. But Juve’s coach Marcello Lippi believed his team had yet to show their best form in the competition.
“The victory came because of heart and a bit of luck – but we are not playing at a very high level,” he said.
“In our last two Champions League matches against Manchester United and Deportivo we have played at 50 per cent of out capabilities.”
Defender Lilian Thuram echoed the thoughts of his manager.
“In the future we will have to play better than wedid tonight, or we won’t win the Champions League,” he said.
After a slow start to the tie Juve took the lead on 12 minutes from a corner. Ciro Ferrara heading home from Camoranesi’s centre. But Deportivo then proceeded to dominate the game and were rewarded when Tristan shot home from close range 11 minutes before halftime. Deportivo started the second half as they had finished the first and took the lead after 52 minutes.
Makaay curling a shot, from the edge of the area, into the top corner of the net leaving Buffon stranded. This seemed to spur Juve into action and they gradually clawed their way back into the game. And theyequalised on the hour through Trezeguet, who fired home after Davids had had a shot blocked.
This set the game up for a grandstand finish with Tudor’s volley securing the three points for the Italians, leaving the Spaniards needing to beat Manchester United and then praying for Basle to thrash Juve in the final group matches. Although Depor coach Javier Irureta, acknowledges that his team’s Euroopeann campaign is over for another season.
“Now we need to look ahead and focus on the league,” said Irureta, whose team are third in the Spanish first division three points behind leaders Real Madrid.
“We are out this year but last season Juventus went out and were able to win the Italian title – we have to try and emulate that and the team are united and determined.”