Galatasaray have achieved the upset of the tournament by defeating and eliminating Juventus from this year’s Champions League. The game was scheduled to be played yesterday, but was suspended after half an hour because of the arctic temperature. The field was completely covered with snow, thus being unplayable. UEFA decided that the game would be played today before the rest of the fixtures.
Led by Roberto Mancini, Galatasaray were able to brave the brutal temperature and hold Juventus at bay. Wesley Sneijder scored the goal that sent Juventus packing and saw his team progress. The ex-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba came close to opening the scoring before Sneijder finally broke the deadlock.
Antonio Conte‘s team looked lackluster and never looked like they were going to be able to beat Galatasaray in Turkey. Galatasaray have proved to be a stern test when they are playing at home, and are even harder when playing under truly horrible conditions. Conte has branded the field of play as a mudslide and frankly, he is right. The game should not have been played under these conditions, and it gave Galatasaray a clear advantage.
This season is now considered a huge disappointment for Juventus, who looked like they could have possibly won the competition. They even bolstered their Serie A winning squad from last year by adding Carlos Tevez from Manchester City and Fernando Llorente from Athletic Bilbao.
Even though the game was played under horrible conditions, it is not the reason why Juventus has crashed out of the competition. They should have wrapped up their progression weeks ago, and that is the risk when you try to salvage a nasty situation right at the very end. Had they played well and taken their chances, they would be comfortably awaiting Monday’s Champions League draw. Instead, they are now going to have to try and win the less prestigious Europa League.