Juventus earned their first points in the Champions League, as they defeated Maccabi Haifa 3-1 at the Allianz Stadium in Matchday 3 on Wednesday. The Bianconeri secured the victory courtesy of goals from Adrien Rabiot and Dusan Vlahovic, either side of half-time.
They were made to sweat though, as Dean David pulled a goal back late on with a well-taken effort to give Maccabi Haifa a way back into the game, but Rabiot headed in a second to ensure victory for the Italians.
The win keeps Juventus‘ hopes of qualification from Group H alive, although they remain four points behind both Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica at the midway point of the group stage.
Di Maria masterclass
Despite struggling to break down their Israeli visitors, Juventus eventually broke the deadlock late in the first half. After finding a loose ball, Rabiot played a one-two with Angel Di Maria and collected the Argentine’s reverse pass to rifle into the roof of the net.
The Bianconeri had earlier been denied by an excellent Josh Cohen save, as he got down low to tip a Vlahovic drive around the post. The Serbian striker also squandered a fine chance soon after, dragging a Filip Kostic cutback wide from inside the box.
However, Vlahovic didn’t have to wait long in the second half to find his goal, as he latched onto a magnificent Di Maria through ball with the outside of his boot, and raced clear to slot home.
Maccabi Haifa fight back quashed
It came just moments after Maccabi Haifa had a great chance of their own, with Tjaronn Chery scooping an effort over the bar from close range, and the Surinamese forward was made to rue his miss at the other end.
On the hour mark, the Israeli champions came within inches of halving the deficit, but Omer Atzili‘s powerful low strike was pushed wide by Wojciech Sczcesny at the near post.
Indeed, they did pull a goal back in the final quarter when David ran onto a sumptuous Chery through ball, worthy of Di Maria, and rounded the stranded Szczesny to net.
Otzili then clipped the outside of the post with a bending freekick, as Maccabi Haifa threatened a late equaliser. Yet, it was Juventus who found the final goal, with Rabiot heading in from a corner.