Sports, Football

Di Maria-inspired Juve beat Maccabi


By AFP
Published : 06 Oct 2022 08:51 PM

Juventus got off the mark in the Champions League with Wednesday's 3-1 win over Maccabi Haifa powered by an inspired performance from Angel Di Maria.

Argentina winger Di Maria set up Adrien Rabiot's brace and a further strike from Dusan Vlahovic to give Juve their first points in Group H.

They sit four points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica in the group and next week have a trip to Israel where they will again be favourites.

However they flagged in the last 20 minutes and allowed substitute Din David to half the deficit with 15 minutes remaining, shortly before Rabiot secured the win.

"This could be a good place from where to relaunch my Juve career," Rabiot, who was close to joining Manchester United in the summer, told reporters.

"It was good for the team because we really needed this result... It was a proper Champions League match."

No Israeli team has ever won away in the Champions League and although they also twice struck the post, Maccabi fell to their ninth straight defeat in the competition.

Israel international David was one of a clutch of players observing fasting for Yom Kippur and therefore couldn't start the match, but coach Barak Bakhar said it was "pointless looking for excuses".

"At home with our fans we can do more, we have two games at home and we want to have more positive results," added Bakhar.