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Aberdeen 1 - 1 Juventus

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Juventus

UEFA Cup Second Round Second Leg
Aberdeen scorers: Harper 77.
Juventus scorers: Anastasi 50

17/11/1971 | KO: 19:30

Footballing links between the cities of Turin and Aberdeen are rare indeed but what connections there have been were strictly of the quality variety. Firstly, Torino hit the headlines when they signed arguably Aberdeen's finest footballing export Denis Law back in the early 1960s and then in 1971 the Dons were handed a plum European draw when they were paired against Torino's bitter rivals Juventus in the second round of the UEFACup. The original draw made in Belgrade gave Aberdeen the "advantage" of playing the first leg in Turin but with Torino scheduled to play at home in the Cup-Winners' Cup against Austria Vienna the same evening, UEFA stepped in to re-arrange the fixture and ordered the first leg to be played at Pittodrie. The Dons lodged a protest and appeared to be on a winner when UEFA ruled that the tie would be played as drawn if the clubs could agree a new date for the first leg. Aberdeen gave Juventus the option of three different evenings but the Italians turned them all down as unsatisfactory and looked to be set to travel to Scotland for the first leg after all. Not to be outdone, the Dons appealed again through the SFA channels and finally UEFA ruled the tie would be played as drawn with the first leg in Turin on October 27.


The wrangle over the venues unfortunately strained relations between the clubs and the Dons received a snub when they arrived in Turin and found no Juventus officials to greet them either at the airport or the hotel. All that was forgotten when the team took the field in the Stadio Communale and Aberdeen got their first real test against a star studded top echelon side in European football, The venue wrangle aside, all the talk amongst Dons fans before the tie had been of the world's most expensive player Pietro Anastasi signed by Juventus for £440,000 and it didn't take long for the Sicilian to prove his worth against the Dons. With only five minutes gone the striker left Willie Young in his wake as he streaked through the middle and cracked a wicked swerving shot low past Bobby Clark to put the Italians ahead. Juventus piled on the pressure in the first half with the twin spearhead of Anastasi and Bettega causing the Aberdeen defence all sorts of problems but though outplayed the Dons held on grimly throughout a difficult first period with-out further setback. The Dons looked more composed after the interval and full-back George Murray had home 'keeper Carmigani scrambling with a shot that flew just wide. But, just when it seemed that the visitors had got through the worst, disaster struck. With 55 minutes on the clock Aberdeen conceded a free kick on the edge of their penalty box. Capello's firmly hit shot took a wicked deflection off the Dons wall and flew into the net for the second goal to Juventus.


Thereafter the Italians remained in control with Haller and Capello supreme in midfield, while Salvadore marshalled a rarely troubled defence. Willie Young was spared further punishment by manager Jimmy Bonthrone when he was pulled off in favour of Ian Taylor but his tormentor Anastasi continued to menace the Dons defence. Indeed, Anastasi had the ball in the net late in the game but a linesman's flag kept Aberdeen's slim hopes alive and the foot¬balling lesson ended with Juventus 2-0 ahead. Having escaped with only a two goal deficit the feeling grew that the Dons were still in with a shout in the return leg at Pittodrie in November, and 29,500 crammed into Pittodrie to see how their favourites would fare against real top class opposition. A light carpet of snow, which covered the pitch, was seen as a possible advantage to the home side. From the outset the Dons forwards launched themselves into an attacking mode against a Juventus side that had Franco Causio back from suspension, as the only change to the eleven that had done the damage in Turin. Juventus looked content to sit on their lead and hit the Dons on the break but that plan almost backfired when after a long period of pressure a Willie Young header forced a superb save out of Carmigani. Aberdeen's constant hammering away took the crowd up to fever pitch and things threatened to boil over midway through the first half when Marchetti grounded Harper in full flight and players from both sides joined in a pushing match. Referee Boosten from the Netherlands calmed things down but there was further disappointment for Willie Young when he was subbed again, this time in the first half, as Jimmy Bonthrone threw caution to the wind in the quest for that vital first goal.


Just after the break the Dons had their best chance of the night but young Arthur Graham hurried his shot and sent the ball over the bar from a good position. Minutes later the tie was effectively over when Furino, Haller and Anastasi combined on a breakaway and the last named shed his marker, Martin Buchan, to fire the ball past Bobby Clark to put Juventus 3-0 ahead on aggregate. With the players and crowd deflated Juventus slowed the pace right down but the Dons regained some of their early passion and pushed hard for some sort of reward. In a grandstand finish Davie Robb shot just wide and then Alex Willoughby shaved the crossbar with another effort. Thirteen minutes from time Aberdeen's persistence paid off when Steve Murray knocked an Arthur Graham cross back into the path of Joe Harper who sent a superb header into the net. The game ended with the scores level and Juventus ahead 3-1 on aggregate but Aberdeen had at least competed with one of the best sides in Europe and at home, at any rate, care out equal. The game itself was the Dons first really big European occasion at Pittodrie and as such is still remembered fondly by those who saw it. Hopefully, in another 22 years, we will all have great memories of tonight's Aberdeen v. Torino tie.

Source: Match Programme, 3rd November 1993

Weather: Light snow
Juventus Teamsheet
Carmignani, Spinosi, Marchetti, Furino, Morini, Salvadore, Haller, Causio, Anastasi, Capello, Bettega
Attendance: 29,500
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Mr. Boosten, Netherlands
Next Match
23 Jul 2024 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen