Moise Kean scored the only goal of the game as Juventus Claudio Benedetto

'Juventus don't fear anyone' - Matchwinner defiant as last 16 awaits after topping group

Juventus defeated Malmo to win Group H in the Champions League.

JUVENTUS COMPLETED THEIR Champions League group phase with a largely uneventful 1-0 win over Malmo which allowed them to qualify for the last 16 as Group H winners.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side leapfrogged Chelsea to claim top spot after Moise Kean headed the only goal of the game and Chelsea conceded a last-gasp equaliser at Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Malmo finish the group bottom with a single point after Italy forward Kean struck in the 18th minute with his first Champions League goal for Juve, a close-range header from Federico Bernardeschi’s delicate cross clipped in with the outside of his boot.

His goal put Juve on 15 points from their six group games, two more than Chelsea who alongside the Italians had already qualified for the knockouts.

Asked whether he wanted to avoid old team Paris Saint-Germain in the next round, Kean said: “Juventus don’t fear anyone, we are a great team and we’ll be ready for whatever awaits us.”

Allegri, who picked a second-string line-up featuring 19-year-old Koni De Winter in defence, was less bullish about his team’s chances after what he saw as a frustrating performance.

“It was a difficult match and we were able to take the lead early on but we couldn’t kill the game off,” said Allegri.

“We have to get better at that, because we can’t keep leaving games in the balance.”

There was precious little excitement on display on a night a cold snap swept across northern Italy, with ground staff at the Allianz Stadium having to sweep off mounds of snow in the hours before the match.

Kean had the best chance to add to his side’s total with eight minutes left when he failed to tap home on the rebound after Adrien Rabiot’s shot was fumbled by Ismael Diawara.

Top spot should give Juve an easier draw in the next round and allows them to end the group stage in a positive mood after being demolished by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last time out.

© – AFP, 2021


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