Alessandro Del Piero was the toast of Turin after breaking Juventus's all-time scoring record to help them to a comfortable victory against Treviso FC. UEFA Champions League Group A rivals FC Bayern München and Club Brugge KV also enjoyed productive weekend's to improve their title prospects, although SK Rapid Wien fell further behind in Austria after dropping points.
FC Wacker Tirol 0-0 SK Rapid Wien
Rapid lost further ground on Austrian Bundesliga leaders SV Austria Salzburg after being held to a disappointing draw at struggling Wacker. It could have been worse for the champions, who were indebted to goalkeeper Helge Payer for keeping the sides level early on with a fantastic save to deny Hannes Aigner.
"We have to be happy with the point," Payer reflected. "It is difficult to return to domestic football after the match at Bayern, which was a big game for us. The Tirol match was a return to daily business and we're happy about the draw because they had some good chances - more than we had."
The 4-0 defeat in Germany also had other effects on Rapid, whose coach Josef Hickersberger decided to rest captain Steffen Hofmann after his exertions at the Fußball Arena München. Uruguayan-born midfield player Sebastian Martinez was brought into the side to replace him.
Juventus 3-1 Treviso FC
Juventus came from behind to earn their tenth consecutive home win, defeating Treviso FC 3-1 at the Stadio Delle Alpi. The visitors took an early lead through Francesco Parravicini, but the Scudetto holders reacted in style and scored two goals in quick succession as Adrian Mutu and David Trezeguet struck before the break. Alessandro Del Piero add a third in the second half to become Juventus' most prolific striker ever with 180 goals, breaking the record previously held by Giampiero Boniperti.
Coach Fabio Capello was without long-term absentees Alessandro Birindelli, Jonathan Zebina and Ruben Olivera. Influential goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is still out with a shoulder injury but he announced that he will be back in action in a few weeks. Capello was missing also Patrick Vieira and Liliam Thuram through suspension.
Capello said: "Treviso were focused on defending and they did not allow us to play, but we reacted really well. I am really glad about today's performance. [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic was decisive with his crosses from the flanks. Our recent results are impressive. Obviously I am really happy for Del Piero."
KSV Cercle Brugge 0-1 Club Brugge KV
Club Brugge prevailed in the Brugge derby courtesy of a 35th-minute strike from Boško Balaban at the Jan Breydel Stadium on Sunday. Javier Portillo had a second Club Brugge goal disallowed for offside, before both sides were reduced to ten men when Phillipe Clement was sent off for the visitors on 73 minutes, while Darko Pivaljević joined him 15 minutes later.
"Neither side created much in the first half, though we scored our only chance while Cercle failed to do so," said coach Jan Ceulemans. "Cercle put more pressure on us after the break though they still struggled to create. It became more difficult for us in the final 15 minutes, but that was obvious after playing a game in midweek and this being a derby match."
Sven Vermant and Victor Simões were suspended for the game, but Nigerian striker Manasseh Ishiaku and Belgian defender Jason Vandelannoite made the substitute's bench after recovering from injury. Rune Lange missed out with a twisted ankle suffered in training and so joins Michael Klukowski, Joos Valgaeren (both knee), Glenn Verbauwhede (shoulder), Olivier De Cock (Achilles) and Jonathan Blondel on the injury list.
FC Bayern München 2-1 1. FSV Mainz 05
Claudio Pizarro once again starred as Bayern tightened their grip on first place in the Bundelsiga with a 2-1 win against 1. FSV Mainz 05. Pizarro, who also scored both goals in Bayern's 2-1 win at DSC Arminia Bielefeld last weekend, gave Bayern the lead on 28 minutes after a cross by Roy Makaay. Six minutes later Benjamin Auer equalised but the Peruvian striker decided the match with his second goal of the game nine minutes into the second half. Bayern are now six points clear of second-placed Hamburger SV.
Midfield star Michael Ballack was again ruled out with a thigh injury that is proving to be more persistent than first thought. Zé Roberto was also sidelined with a stomach problem, while long-term absentees Hasan Salihamdzic (abdominal muscle), Andreas Görlitz and Roque Santa Cruz (both knee) are some way from returning.
Coach Felix Magath said: "I would have gladly settled for a less dramatic match but that is what happens when you have been in action in the Champions League in midweek, while the opposition have been able to rest," said coach Felix Magath.
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