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    Zenit kick off Champions League with narrow defeat in Italy

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    Zenit St. Petersburg began their debut Champions League campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Juventus in Turin on Wednesday evening.

    MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) - Zenit St. Petersburg began their debut Champions League campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Juventus in Turin on Wednesday evening.

    Zenit's Dutch manager, Dick Advocaat, had spoken before the game of respecting Juventus but not being afraid of them, and his players proved him right, more than matching the Italians early on, with record signing Danny going close in the 11th minute.

    Juventus striker David Trezeguet always looked sharp, but UEFA Cup champions Zenit nearly took the lead through an Andrei Arshavin shot in the 56th minute.

    However, it was veteran Italian forward Alessandro del Piero who finally broke the deadlock, scoring with a well struck free-kick with 14 minutes on the clock.

    Zenit's next Champions League tie is at home to Real Madrid on September 30. Victory will put them back on track for qualification for the play-off stages.

    In other results involving teams from former Soviet republics, Belarusian champions BATE Borisov lost 2-0 in Spain to Real Madrid, while Dynamo Kiev drew 1-1 with Arsenal. Dynamo conceded an equalizer with five minutes left to play.

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