Juventus FC continued their perfect start to the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League as two late goals gave them a comfortable Group A win against SK Rapid Wien.
David Trezeguet's first-half strike was added to by Adrian Mutu and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the final ten minutes, setting Fabio Capello's side on course to progress from the pool ahead of their double-header with fellow titans FC Bayern München. Meanwhile, the Austrian champions are still searching for their first point.
Both teams adopted a usual 4-4-2 formation. Capello, denied the in-form Patrick Vieira through suspension, partnered Emerson and Giuliano Giannichedda in central midfield, while Trezeguet and Ibrahimovic spearheaded the attack. Alessandro Del Piero, one appearance away from his 100th in UEFA competition at kick-off, began on the bench. Rapid coach Josef Hickersberger brought Marcin Adamski in for Vladimír Labant in defence and opted for the pace of Muhammet Akagündüz up front alongside Marek Kincl, at the expense of Axel Lawaree.
Juve started with great purpose, as content to fire long balls up to Ibrahimovic as they were to pass the ball through their opponents' midfield. Pavel Nedvěd was a livewire, finding space to shoot from distance as early as the first minute, and combining well with Giannichedda on the left wing only for Emerson to blaze wide from the edge of the area.
In the 12th minute Mauro Camoranesi let fly from eight metres but found the side-netting after Ibrahimovic had tricked his way past Andreas Dober. Rapid were finding it hard to contain the growing threat of Ibrahimovic, whose height belies a player of fine technique. Indeed, they were left admiring the Swede's artistry in the build-up to the opening goal. His lofted pass was perfectly weighted for the onrushing Gianluca Zambrotta, whose low centre was easily dispatched by Trezeguet from six metres.
Rapid's main threat was coming from the left flank, and Steffen Hofmann and Andreas Ivanschitz tried hard to stem the relentless surge of Bianconeri shirts but too often when in possession they could not find the killer pass. Akagündüz was guilty of wasting several opportunities to set up fellow forwards. Indeed, it was not long after the break that he was replaced by Lawaree and the substitute had an immediate impact, forcing a save from the hitherto redundant Christian Abbiati. The change stirred Rapid, and Juve were subjected to snapshots from the edge of the box from Kincl and the lively replacement.
Del Piero century
Ibrahimovic had yet to score this season and his overenthusiasm to break his duck seemed to be counting against him. Del Piero, a second-half swap for Trezeguet, could have been clean through on goal after 75 minutes but the Swedish international instead chose to shoot and blasted over.
Del Piero's best chance came with ten minutes remaining, yet after Nedvěd found him free in the area, his stunning volley was somehow turned over by Helge Payer. Juve were not to be denied, though, and with six minutes left Del Piero's fellow substitute Mutu took the ball from the halfway line and raced past a tired Rapid defence before beating Payer with a low left-footed strike across goal.
Three minutes later, Ibrahimovic finally ended his drought with a volley from another Nedvěd cross which bounced off the turf and over the unfortunate goalkeeper. Juve, like their Matchday 3 hosts Bayern, are already six points clear of Rapid and Club Brugge KV.