Juventus FC 4-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen. A scintillating display from Juventus FC saw them sweep Bayer 04 Leverkusen aside 4-0 in Thursday afternoon's rearranged UEFA Champions League match. The fixture had twice fallen foul of fog, but at the third time of asking the Turin giants made no mistake. Two goals from David Trezeguet, taking his tally so far in this season's tournament to eight, and one each from Alessandro del Piero and Igor Tudor stunned the German visitors.
Juventus made by far the brighter start at Turin's Delle Alpi stadium and were ahead after just eight minutes after a sweeping move down the left. Gianluca Pessotto's deep cross was headed back across goal by Del Piero and when Jens Nowotny's attempted clearance ballooned in the air Trezeguet was on hand to head into the net.
Leverkusen tried to fight their back into the game, enjoying an even share of the possession and creating several half-chances. Michael Ballack flicked a header over the crossbar from a Zé Roberto corner while a wonderful 20-metre shot from Oliver Neuville flashed just wide of Gianluigi Buffon's goal. Juventus remained dangerous though, especially down the left where Pessotto was wreaking havoc whenever he found space with the ball at his feet. On 26 minutes Del Piero created a wonderful chance to extend his side's lead, turning Lucio inside-out, but the Italian international then fired over the bar.
Leverkusen then enjoyed their best passage of play and twice came close to equalising. Firstly, Sebescen unleashed a superb long-range effort which Buffon tipped over the bar for a corner. From the set-piece Buffon was again forced to make a good save when he blocked Lucio's header. Almost immediately, Juventus broke on the counterattack and doubled their lead. Trezeguet found himself clean through on goal and as Nowotny slid in despairingly, the Frenchman unselfishly flicked the ball into the path of Del Piero who made no mistake in blasting past Hans-Jörg Butt.
The second goal was the cue for a period of intense Juventus pressure. Butt punched clear Del Piero's dangerous inswinging corner and then produced a superb one-handed save to prevent Trezeguet registering his second goal with a spectacular diving header. Butt could hold out no longer on 44 minutes though as Tudor scored Juventus's third. Gianluca Zambrotta's corner was flicked on by Alessandro Birindelli to Alessio Tacchinardi on the left-hand side of the penalty area. Tacchinardi's overhead kick then fell into the path of the Croatian who lashed the ball into the net from close range.
Leverkusen, who were relieved to hear the half-time whistle, regrouped at the interval and showed plenty of willing in the early stages of the second half. However a successful final ball into the Juventus penalty area was always lacking. The hosts played patiently before finishing off their German visitors with another lethal counterattack on the hour mark. A wonderful lofted pass from Pessotto found Del Piero down the left. The ball was worked back to Pavel Nedved who got ahead of Carsten Ramelow and crossed for Trezeguet whose left-footed volley flew into the net despite a touch from Butt.
For several minutes afterwards Juventus ran Leverkusen ragged with wave after wave of attacks. Butt was forced to scramble desperately to block a 20-metre Del Piero free-kick. Meanwhile, on 66 minutes Trezeguet missed a golden opportunity to register his hat-trick when he poked the ball wide after being put clean through by an unselfish square ball from Del Piero. Ultimately the miss had no bearing on the final result as Juventus played out time with some wonderful one-touch football that delighted the small but loyal following that were present in the Delle Alpi stadium.
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