DONETSK, Ukraine, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Juventus went through to the last 16 of the Champions League with a 1-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday that put them top of Group E.
Defender Olexandr Kucher deflected a cross intended for Juve's Sebastian Giovinco into his own net in the 56th minute to give the Italians the win.
Juventus defender Kwadwo Asamoah nearly got an own goal himself later in the second half as he turned to deal with a Razvan Rat cross, but the ball struck the post after coming off his thigh.
The victory gave Juventus 12 points and took them through with Shakhtar. Holders Chelsea finished third, despite having the same points as the Ukrainians, thanks to a poorer head-to-head tally, and were sent off to the Europa League.
Andrea Pirlo had his claims for a penalty ignored following an apparent handball by a Shakhtar defender in the penalty area before Juventus missed a chance to go ahead when Giovinco, alone against the goalkeeper, narrowly missed the target on 29 minutes.
Mirko Vucinic shrugged off his marker and passed to the unmarked Giovinco from the right but his shot went just wide.
Pirlo hit the far post from the edge of the area before Juventus's constant pressure paid off with the goal as Kucher tried in vain to deflect a low cross from the right by Stephan Lichtsteiner. (Reporting by Igor Nitsak; Editing by Clare Fallon)