Italian champions Juventus FC began their UEFA Champions League Group A campaign in fine fashion with a 2-1 win at Club Brugge KV.
The visitors created enough opportunities to have won more comfortably, but in the event Pavel Nedvěd's free-kick and David Trezeguet's exquisite lob - his 100th strike for the Bianconeri - proved sufficient. Fabio Capello's side were made to sweat late on though, as Jeanvion Yulu-Matondo pulled a goal back and Patrick Vieira was sent off.
The hosts made three changes to the team that overcame K. Sint Truidense VV on Saturday. Joos Valgaeren, Yulu-Matondo and Günther Vanaudenaerde came into the side as coach Jan Ceulemans opted for a 3-4-3 system. Juventus, who brought in Manuele Blasi at full-back in place of the injured Gianluca Pessotto, were intent on getting numbers forward from the off.
Indeed they started brightly: Nedvěd shooting centimetres over Stijn Stijnen's crossbar and the same player's volley forcing a fine save from a goalkeeper showing no sign of nerves on his Champions League debut. Stijnen barely had time to compose himself before denying Trezeguet from close range. The chances continued to come for the away team, summer signing Vieira having an effort cleared off the line in the 17th minute. Club Brugge's best hope seemed to lie in set-pieces, Olivier De Cock heading wide from a corner as the Belgian champions threatened for the first time.
That opening helped Club Brugge grow in confidence and after Juventus's Christian Abbiati had failed to claim a 31st-minute corner, they would have taken the lead against the run of play had Javier Portillo been able to control the loose ball at the far post. There were now opportunities at either end, and Trezeguet went close to breaking the deadlock when, after a clever near-post run enabled him to reach Blasi's right-wing delivery, his attempt came back off the upright. Stijnen then produced two more fine stops from the Frenchman to keep the half-time score blank.
As the second period began the Jan Breydel Stadion found its voice and the home side enjoyed increasing amounts of possession, Sven Vermant drilling a low shot fractionally wide. Jonathan Blondel, on for Portillo, and Yulu-Matondo assumed more defensive responsibilities as Club Brugge switched to 3-6-1, reverting to their starting template on the break. Just as they started to look more secure, however, they fell behind to a fine Nedvěd set-piece six minutes past the hour. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was fouled by Valgaeren outside the area, and the former Czech international curled a low effort round the wall and just inside Stijnen's left-hand post.
The youngster was involved again five minutes later, saving with his feet from Ibrahimovic. There was nothing Stijnen could do, though, as Trezeguet doubled Juve's lead in the 75th minute. Mauro Camoranesi was the architect, producing a perfectly-weighted chip for the striker's diagonal run, which Trezeguet matched with a superb lob. Ibrahimovic, who could have had a hat-trick, then thumped a shot that Stijnen did well to parry at the near post.
That save looked crucial five minutes from time when Blondel's mis-kick, after Juventus had failed to deal with a corner, proved to be the perfect cross for Yulu-Matondo to mark his debut with a headed goal that renewed Club Brugge hope. That was further boosted a minute from time as Vieira was sent off for a second bookable offence, but the visitors held firm for a fine win.