Juventus FC did not freeze on a bitter night in Turin as they secured a 4-0 win against FC Basel despite a typically positive performance from the visitors.
David Trezeguet celebrated his injury comeback and first UEFA Champions League start of the season with an early goal, Paolo Montero and Alessio Tacchinardi added to the tally before half-time, and Alessandro Del Piero contributed a penalty after the break to produce a result that was harsh on Basel.
The game was almost in doubt an hour before kick off with heavy snow covering the Delle Alpi pitch, but quick work from the groundstaff to clear the surface and paint red markings ensured there would be no postponement, as at FC Barcelona last night, and despite the conditions both teams managed to produce football of the highest standard.
Marco Di Vaio, the man replaced by Trezeguet, may be Juventus's leading Champions League goalscorer this season, but the French international showed why Marcello Lippi had put him straight back in the side when he gave Italian title-holders the lead after just three minutes, stooping low to head in from Mark Iuliano's flick on.
Basel were not disheartened by this early setback, and Hakan Yakin, Julio Hernán Rossi and Christian Giménez all threatened the Juventus goal, although Pavel Nedved constantly worried the visitors with his incisive runs, Murat Yakin and Thimothée Atouba having to work hard in defence for the Swiss champions.
Montero doubles lead
But just as Basel seemed to have got the measure of their illustrious hosts, the lead doubled on 34 minutes. Antonio Esposito fouled Nedved 20 metres from the Basel goal, and although Pascal Zuberbühler was able to tip Del Piero's effort on to the crossbar, Montero slid in to poke the ball into the net.
Rossi nearly pulled one back when he ran into the Juventus area, and, knocked off balance by Montero, shot straight at Gianluigi Buffon from close range. However, two minutes from the break it was 3-0 as an Edgar Davids cross was blocked and cleared by Marco Zwyssig, but the ball was volleyed back and in by Tacchinardi.
Positive mood shattered
Despite their deficit, Basel began the second period in expansive mood, but in the 51st minute they were even further behind when Esposito tripped Nedved in the area and Del Piero converted the resultant spot-kick.
Still this did not stop Basel from producing the positive football they have made a trademark under Christian Gross, but despite some fine chances, notably falling to Rossi, they could not prise open Buffon and the Juventus defence.
And Juventus themselves were happy to play the game out, and will be happy with their return of four points from their two opening Group D matches. Basel, yet to get off the mark, deserved far more than to lose by this scoreline, but they were up against a team looking strong contenders for the Champions League.