Alessandro Del Piero scored twice in the second half to give Juventus FC a 2-0 victory at home to Newcastle United FC in a pulsating UEFA Champions League Group E match in Turin.
The result leaves Newcastle without a point from their first three games, but they pushed the group leaders all the way, and were desperately unlucky not to salvage a point when Alan Shearer had a header ruled out five minutes after Del Piero's first goal.
Juventus again employed Marco Di Vaio and Del Piero up front and Pavel Nedved in the hole, as they had in beating FC Dynamo Kyiv 5-0. Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson partnered Shearer with Kieron Dyer in the absence of the suspended Craig Bellamy, Jermaine Jenas slotting into midfield.
The first half may have been goalless, but it was a pulsating 45 minutes of football. In the second minute, Shearer received a cross from Nolberto Solano, but his close-range shot was blocked. Laurent Robert then saw a long-range effort go over, but it was Juventus who then took control.
Di Vaio taken off
However, Shay Given in the Newcastle goal was in excellent form, and both he and Andy O'Brien proved able to deal with the early pressure. Juventus suffered a setback on 16 minutes when Marco Di Vaio was taken off after a clash of heads with O'Brien, but his replacement David Trezeguet went close twice in the space of seconds soon after his arrival, the first chance producing a stunning Given save, the second a volley over the top.
Visitors go close
Within two minutes of these efforts, Del Piero hit the crossbar with a dipping, curling shot from 25 metres. Newcastle had weathered the pressure, though, and Shearer and Dyer began to look dangerous themselves. The visitors' best chance before the break came in added time, when a similar Solano cross to that in the second minute was parried by Shearer and fell to Laurent Robert, whose shot was bravely saved at close range by Gianluigi Buffon.
There was no let-up for either defence after the break as both teams attacked at will. Given and O'Brien again proved their worth by snuffing out good chances, and 12 minutes into the half a fine Newcastle move resulted in a Robert cross that just eluded Shearer. Seconds later, Juventus moved forward as Davids supplied Nedved but his cross was headed straight at the grateful Given by Trezeguet.
Del Piero opens scoring
A goal had to come at some stage, and it arrived on 66 minutes after Nikolaos Dabizas fouled Del Piero on the edge of the Newcastle box to pick up a booking that rules him out of the return at St James' Park. Del Piero stepped up to take the free-kick himself, and his curling shot gave Given no chance as it sneaked in the top corner to the goalkeeper's right.
Shearer seemed to have levelled the scores five minutes later, but as he headed the ball past Buffon he turned to discover the goal ruled out as the supporting Dyer was in an offside position. This seemed to dishearten Newcastle, and with nine minutes to go Del Piero had a second. Davids crossed from the right, and as Trezeguet's dummy fooled the Newcastle defence, Del Piero was on hand to shoot, the ball deflecting past the unlucky Given.
Despite their spirited victory, the mood in the Juventus camp will have soured following the news that Di Vaio's head injury was sufficient to keep him in hospital overnight.