Red Bull Salzburg picked up their first point in the 2010/11 Europa League as they drew 1-1 with Italian giants Juventus at the Red Bull Arena.
The home side started strongly and took the lead in the 36th minute when Dusan Svento capitalised on a mistake in the Juve midfield to score. However, the visitors hit back just two minutes into the second half as substitute Milos Krasic struck the equaliser.
Salzburg coach Huub Stevens was happy with his side’s display as they dominated their illustrious opponents for much of the first half. He was though left to rue missed chances that ultimately cost the Austrians a famous win.
“From what I saw, I am very pleased with the way we performed," Stevens said after the game. "But I am disappointed with the outcome of the encounter. We showed we can play football, but we need to turn these opportunities into three points.”
For large periods of the game it looked as though Salzburg would do just that. Just eight minutes had been played at the Red Bull Arena when Gonzalo Zarate sent a shot wide of Alex Manninger’s far post.
The Austrian keeper was making a return to his hometown, and he had to be at his best as the half-hour mark approached, tipping David Mendes Da Silva's long-range effort away. However, Manninger could do nothing to stop the Red Bulls going in front after 36 minutes.
Mendes Da Silva made the most of a mistake by Juventus in midfield to feed Svento in the box who coolly drilled home from 12 yards. The Old Lady picked up their game before half-time but were unable to find an equaliser despite chances for Alessandro Del Piero and Amauri.
All that changed though with the half-time introduction of Serbia international Krasic, for the largely ineffectual Simone Pepe. Within two minutes Juve were level as the winger got to Paolo De Ceglie's cross first and turned the ball home.
However, the home side refused to cave in and went in search of a winner. First, Roman Wallner was denied by an excellent save from Manninger before Christoph Leitgeb fired a volley just wide.
Juventus were once again struggling in the face of the incessant pressure of the home side and after Del Piero fired over from distance, Salzburg nearly snatched all three points. Manninger again pulling out the stop to deny Jakob Jantscher in stoppage time.