Lichtsteiner, back from heart op, saves Juventus

Stephan Lichtsteiner (in pink) sends the ball past hosts Moenchengladbach's goalie Yann Sommer (left) for his first Champions League goal.
Stephan Lichtsteiner (in pink) sends the ball past hosts Moenchengladbach's goalie Yann Sommer (left) for his first Champions League goal.PHOTO: REUTERS

MILAN • Stephan Lichtsteiner has taken no time finding his stride after a month on the sidelines following heart surgery, scoring a wonderfully struck volley in Juventus' 1-1 draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Switzerland full-back had suffered breathing problems in the match against Frosinone in September and tests indicated he was suffering from an atrial flutter which required an operation.

The 31-year-old was ruled out for a month to recover and had only two days' training with the team, before resuming his place in Massimiliano Allegri's starting line-up against Gladbach.

On 44 minutes, he marked his return by finishing Paul Pogba's scooped through-ball with a powerful volley which helped secure a valuable point, as Juventus closed in on the Champions League second round. Fabian Johnson had earlier scored for Gladbach.

"The match was important for us and I really wanted to help the team," said Lichtsteiner, after scoring his first goal in the competition.

The strike helped 10-man Juve strengthen their grip on a qualification place, although Manchester City took over top spot in Group D following their 3-1 win over Sevilla.

Allegri, though, was livid after forward Alvaro Morata was ordered to change his socks during the match.

The coach had no complaints about a second-half sending-off for midfielder Hernanes but lambasted officials after his team were briefly reduced to 10 men in the first half.

Morata appeared to be wearing slightly different coloured socks to the rest of the team and was told to change them by the referee.

"At the end of the day, this is not a fashion show," Allegri fumed. "We're here to play football."

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 05, 2015, with the headline 'Lichtsteiner, back from heart op, saves Juventus'. Print Edition | Subscribe