Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon was hailed as the best goalkeeper of all time by his managerMassimiliano Allegri after a superb display to defyManchester City.
Buffon produced a number of brilliant saves as his side came from behind to win their Champions League Group D opener 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
The 37-year-old Italy veteran denied Raheem Sterling early on, saved from the same man and Daivd Silva in quick succession in the second half and also thwarted Wilfried Bony.
He was beaten when Giorgio Chiellini turned into his own net just before the hour but Juve responded to win with fine goals from strikers Mario Mandzukic and AlvaroMorata.
Juve boss Allegri said: “Buffon pulled off many miraculous saves, particularly just after we went 1-0 down.
“I hope he will go on for as long as possible, certainly as long as I am manager. Buffon is an extraordinary goalkeeper, perhaps the best ever in the history of football. He never fails.”
For City, the story was a familiar one. The club have consistently failed to transpose their brilliant domestic form onto the European stage and, despite optimism abounding after five successive Premier League wins without conceding, again they fell short.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted his side needed to be more clinical but did not blame Sterling for spurning two of the better opportunities.
The Chilean said: “I expect that when we have chances we must score. The differences are very slight especially against a strong team like Juventus. Maybe Juventus didn’t create so many chances but they had a strong finish.
“I don’t think this result is just because of Raheem. We controlled the game and didn’t have many problems but football is like that.
“I think it was a strange game. I don’t think we deserved to lose. We played better than Juventus and we had three clear opportunities to score.
“Buffon made some very good saves but I think we were very unlucky, especially for the first goal.”
Pellegrini, however, was not overly concerned about the group situation. Last season his side claimed just two points from their first four games but still managed to progress.
He said: “We are just starting. We never want to lose here at home, we never want to lose important points but we have 15 points more to play for.”
City lacked a cutting edge without star striker Sergio Aguero, although he made a late appearance off the bench despite having been initially ruled out with a knee injury.
Pellegrini said: “It was a risk to use him. I tried not to because if he got a kick in the same part it could take him more days to recover. Fortunately he did not have any problems and I hope he will be fit for Saturday.”
Pellegrini also revealed captain Vincent Kompany was substituted in the second half with a calf injury.
He said: “We will see tomorrow how important (serious) it is.”
For Juve, victory was their first of the season after two defeats and a draw in their opening three Serie A games.
Allegri said: “I think the players played extremely well. We defended very disciplined and played pretty well in attack. It gives the players a bit more confidence.”