Europa League - Juve set up Fulham clash

Eurosport - Thu, 25 Feb 19:56:00 2010

Alberto Zaccheroni's Juventus side sailed through to the last 16 of the Europa League after overcoming Martin Jol's subdued Ajax team with a 0-0 draw in Turin.

2010 Juventus Ajax Europa League photo: LaPresse - 0

Taking a 2-1 lead into the second leg, the Italian side were favourites from kick-off with Ajax needing to score two away goals to progress. It was a game of little quality and few talking points, though Diego provided a spattering of class with some neat touches and extravagant flicks before his substitution in the 70th minute.

The best chance of the game came in the first half when Mohamed Sissoko headed Alessandro Del Piero's corner off the post. Juventus threatened almost exclusively from Del Piero's set pieces as they sought to protect their one-goal lead.

Ajax adopted a very high defensive line that pushed Juventus back into their own half. For large parts of the game, the Bianconeri had 11 men in their half as they lacked the pace to break through the Dutch back line.

Ajax were without their top scorer Luis Suarez, and his presence was sorely missed. The Dutch giants passed the ball around nicely, but failed to final that guilt-edged chance they needed to get back into the game.

Juventus were without Gianluigi Buffon as the Italian suffered a thigh injury in a training session as former Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Manninger returned to the fold. The Austrian looked shaky early but barely had a save to make as Ajax failed to test him.

The Turin side would have been overjoyed with proceedings as they did not have to get out of first gear. They looked comfortable from the start and dealt with everything Ajax had to throw at them.

The second half did not offer any improvement as Ajax never sparked into life and the home side strolled to a goalless draw.

The Bianconeri now face Roy Hodgon's Fulham in the last 16 after the London side knocked out reigning champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

Michael Grady / Eurosport

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