Galatasaray vs. Juventus Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

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Galatasaray vs. Juventus Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

In snowy, muddy, sleety conditions, Galatasaray squeezed out a performance that saw them qualify for the UEFA Champions League last 16.

Wesley Sneijder converted a flick-on from Didier Drogba in the 85th minute to send the Turkish giants into the knockout rounds after a scruffy, embattled affair.

The game was originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday night but was abandoned after 32 minutes due to the unplayable conditions, and 15 hours later they completed the task on a dangerous pitch.

Claudio Villa/Getty Images

The teams were scoreless heading into "day two," and the game restarted in the exact conditions it was stopped: same XIs, a free-kick to Gala in their own half and Emmanuel Eboue off the pitch temporarily due to injury.

It became immediately clear that route one was the only viable tactic on such a woeful surface and both teams began smashing long balls up to target men Didier Drogba and Fernando Llorente.

The unpredictable (or lack of) bounce in the football made for a difficult day's work for both sides and on multiple occasions dribblers would leave the ball behind them as they made their way forward.

The first half, which took around 15 total hours to complete (including the delay), ended scoreless, and while the second period started slowly, both teams eventually adjusted to the conditions and began to ask serious questions.

The first big chance fell to Drogba, as he weaved his way into the box and fired goalward only to see his firm shot expertly saved by Gianluigi Buffon.

Wesley Sneijder then fired an effort from 20 yards wide of the post and Burak Yilmaz missed by a similar distance from a free-kick.

With the crowd behind them, Gala began to dominate and looked far more at ease with the difficult pitch; in contrast, Juve were scrabbling to clear the long aerial balls and struggling to move the ball forward.

Claudio Marchisio and Carlos Tevez finally managed to fashion chances after a short spell of pressure and Roberto Mancini responded by sending on Umut Bulut for the final 10 minutes to scrape a goal.

The change paid dividends almost immediately, as Drogba flicked a long ball on and Sneijder converted superbly on the stretch. A clever finish, a neat piece of skill; a total anomaly in a game bereft of good play.

Antonio Conte responded by sending on Fabio Quagliarella, but the Old Lady failed to find a goal.

With the loss, Juve are eliminated from the Champions League.

Post-Match Reaction 

Key Player Grades

Didier Drogba, Gala: A

Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Drogba was central to every attack from the home side, as he controlled aerial balls and distributed them in the final third with ease.

Arturo Vidal, Juve: B

Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Vidal did a fine job in the centre of the park, chopping up attacks and playing the ball off with simplicity. Whereas many of his midfield colleagues were wasteful, the Chilean played the conditions perfectly.

Full Player Grades

Player Position Grade
Fernando Muslera GK B
Aurelien Chedjou CB B+
Gokhan Zan CB C+
Semih Kaya CB B
Emmanuel Eboue RWB C+
Albert Riera LB C+
Felipe Melo MC B+
Selcuk Inan MC B
Wesley Sneijder AMC B+
Didier Drogba ST A
Burak Yilmaz ST C+
Umut Bulut ST N/A
Ceyhun Gulselam CM N/A


Player Position Grade
Gianluigi Buffon GK B
Andrea Barzagli CB C+
Leonardo Bonucci CB C
Giorgio Chiellini CB C+
Stephan Lichtsteiner RWB C+
Kwadwo Asamoah LWB B-
Paul Pogba DM C+
Arturo Vidal CM B
Claudio Marchisio CM C
Carlos Tevez ST B
Fernando Llorente ST B
Fabio Quagliarella ST N/A


What's Next?

In domestic football, Gala travel to Genclerbirligi while Juve host Sassuolo. From February, Gala will be continuing their Champions League journey, but Juve must make do with the Europa League.

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