Juventus lose to Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League2 min read
Juventus’ hopes of progressing to the Champions League last 16 suffered a massive blow as they were stunned 2-0 by Maccabi Haifa.
The Bianconeri went into their third Group H encounter trailing pacesetters Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica by four points.
And their deficit to at least one of that duo will grow after they were outplayed by the Israeli champions on Tuesday at Sammy Ofer Stadium.
Omer Atzili’s first-half double was the difference, but the margin of victory could have been greater for Maccabi as they claimed a famous win that will increase the scrutiny on under-fire Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri.
Frantzdy Pierrot had Wojciech Szczesny scrambling to make a diving save in the fourth minute, but the goalkeeper could do nothing to deny the hosts soon after when Atzili flicked home Pierre Cornud’s left-wing cross.
Tjaronn Chery then struck the top of the crossbar with a free-kick before Atzili forced Szczesny into action once more at the end of a rapid counter-attack as Maccabi continued to pile pressure on Juve.
That pressure told again in stunning fashion just before half-time, Pierrot laying off for Atzili to shape a superb finish into the top-right corner after Juve had been dispossessed in their own half.
Juve eventually threatened a response, but Joshua Cohen was equal to Dusan Vlahovic’s header to preserve Maccabi’s two-goal advantage at the break.
Having replaced the injured Angel Di Maria with Arkadiusz Milik in the first half, Allegri threw on Filip Kostic and Manuel Locatelli at the start of the second half.
But neither had the desired impact as Maccabi hung on with relative comfort to leave Allegri’s men facing the legitimate prospect of a group-stage exit.