TURIN, Italy - Sebastian Giovinco missed a penalty but Juventus still secured top spot in Champions League Group H with a dull 0-0 home draw against BATE Borisov on Wednesday. Juventus finished on 12 points along with Real Madrid but top the group because they beat the Spanish champions home and away. The hosts were already assured of qualification for February's last 16 and took few risks while Belarus side BATE, knowing they would finish bottom of the group whatever the result, rarely threatened. "We tried not to concede. It is important no one was injured," Juve coach Claudio Ranieri told Rai television. "Whoever we get in the last 16 will be difficult." Home winger Marco Marchionni headed Amauri's cross against the post five minutes into the second half. Giovinco soon blasted over the penalty after Mikhail Sivakov was penalised for handball under pressure from Olof Mellberg, who was lucky not to give away a spotkick at the other end. Forward Giovinco had earlier flashed a free kick from out wide just past the post and was off target after creating space for a shot with a clever piece of skill. Alessandro Del Piero, carrying a slight knock, came on as a second-half substitute with Ranieri keeping one eye on Sunday's home Serie A clash with AC Milan. Juve midfielder Cristiano Zanetti was untroubled in his first start of the season and Ranieri will hope other injury victims such as goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and striker David Trezeguet will return for the knockout stages. A spartan crowd was sprinkled around the Stadio Olimpico given the match meant little and snow had earlier carpeted a freezing Turin.
10 December 2008
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