Friday, 06 August 2010 00:00
Del Piero magic needed to see off gallant Hoops in Modena downpour ...
Juventus (0) 1 - Del Pierro 74'
Rovers (0) 0 -
Europa League - Modena - Thursday 5th August 2010
1 Alan Mannus
13 Pat Flynn
5 Aiden Price
24 Dan Murray(c)
19 Danny Murphy
20 Billy Dennehy
7 Stephen Bradley
15 Paddy Kavanagh
6 Stephen Rice
8 James Chambers
9 Gary Twigg
18 Chris Turner
for Chambers ht
23 Thomas Stewart
for Kavanagh ht
25 Robert Bayly
for Rice 59'
16 Pat Jennings
3 Enda Stevens
4 Craig Sives
17 Sean O'Connor
Right-back for Rovers in Italy...
The Hoops put on a spirited, gallant performance against one of the giants of Europe in Modena in front of a large travelling contingent. The game was played despite a torrential downpour of Biblical proportions and Rovers held the "Old Lady" scoreless until the Juve "God" Del Pierro stamped his class on the game with a sublime 30 yard free-kick that separated the sides.
While the Greek Referee's decision was questionable there was no doubt that the Hoops took full advantage of the conditions as the home side struggled to get their passing game going.
However the home side did create a couple of half-chances with danger man Amauri shooting across goal and Lanzafame picking up a stray pass to shoot just wide. Alan Mannus had also to deal with a couple of dangerous crosses into the box but he coped well despite the conditions.
In the 34th minute a Stephen Bradley free-kick was met at the back post by Murray and his header across goal just failed to get the vital connection from both Twigg and Dennehy.
Local hero Del Piero was introduced at half-time and the home side picked up their game and Mannus was on top form to parry a Lanzafame shot before diving down well to deny Marchisio.
The Hoops fans were relieved when Amauri's header in front of goal was straight at Mannus and moments later a punch from the Hoops number one was returned on goal by Sissoko but Murrays outstretched leg saved a certain goal.
On 74 minutes Amauri went down very easily from Murray's challenge and up stepped Del Piero whose shot from 30 yards flew through the air before dipping down to fly past the despairing dive of Mannus.
Del Piero went close again with a fiercly struck shot before the Hoops regrouped and created a couple of decent chances when Stewart crossed for Twigg to send a glancing header wide before Bayly's free-kick was again headed across goal by Murray but Turner couldn't get a proper connection on the ball and Storari saved.
At the final whistle the Rovers players could be proud of their 90 minutes playing at a high level in a competitive Europa League game in front of a huge and saturated travelling support that will live long in the memory of everyone present.