Juve's UCL clash with Gala snowed off
One of the marquee games of Champions League Matchday Six ended in bizarre circumstances, as Galatasaray’s winner-takes-all Group B encounter with Juventus was abandoned after 33 minutes due to a severe snow and hailstorm in Istanbul.
With the home side needing to beat the Italian champions to secure their passage to the knock-out stages and Juve merely needing a draw to secure their progress, this was a fixture many a neutral was relishing ahead of the final round of group match-ups.
However, snow and hail began to seriously affect play after about 20 minutes and the game was ultimately suspended 12 minutes before the scheduled half-time break following discussions between UEFA delegates, Pedro Proenca's refereeing team and both sets of players.
UEFA have confirmed that the remaining 57 minutes of the match will be played on Wednesday at 1pm GMT, having initially announced it would be an hour earlier. Snow continued to fall heavily on Wednesday morning, although organisers remain hopeful the match can be restarted as scheduled.
Juventus had enjoyed the better chances of the interrupted clash in Turkey and Fernando Llorente missed a gilt-edged chance to put the Serie A side ahead in the 16th minute.
At the end of a swift counter-attack, the Spanish striker found himself in a good position in the Gala box to control Arturo Vidal's cross before flicking it just wide of a post.
Former Juve midfielder Felipe Melo had earlier tested goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon from distance while Selcuk Inan sent a free-kick wide of the visitors' goal before the snow began to fall.
Grounds people attempted to clear snow from the lines marking the pitch but the weather showed no signs of abating and brought an early end to proceedings.
Such was the severity of the weather conditions that television cameras were struggling to pick out an image in the white haze that had descended on the Turk Telecom Arena.
Gala were level on four points with FC Copenhagen going into Tuesday night’s fixtures but have a better goal difference against the Danes, who were beaten 2-0 by already-qualified Real Madrid in the other Group B game.
Melo said it was like playing with penguins after the game was abandoned due to the snow. The former Juve midfielder wrote on Twitter: "Galatasaray had possession, penguin touched the ball to penguin, who sent it long for penguin hahaha, so much snow!"
O jogo estava assim, galatasaray com a bola, pingüim toca para pingüim, que lança para pingüim hahahaja , muita neveeee! #cancelado— Felipe Melo (@_felipemelo_) December 10, 2013