First-half goals from Sebastian Deisler and Martin Demichelis helped FC Bayern München exorcise the ghosts of last season's twin defeats by Juventus with an impressive 2-1 win on home soil in UEFA Champions League Group A.
Although unnerved by Zlatan Ibrahimović's late close-range tap-in, Felix Magath's side deserved this prestigious victory and the precious three points it brought, after a courageous attacking display which ruffled the Italian champions throughout.
Magath was without Owen Hargreaves, the English international midfielder sidelined by flu. But French full-backs Bixente Lizarazu and Willy Sagnol recovered from injuries to play, along with Deisler, who shook off a knock sustained in the weekend draw at FC Schalke 04.
Del Piero dropped
Patrick Vieira's groin problem made him a notable absentee for the visitors, who were also missing Jonathan Zebina. Giuliano Giannichedda and Manuele Blasi stepped in for that French duo, while coach Fabio Capello dropped Alessandro Del Piero to the bench alongside Bayern old boy Robert Kovač, favouring David Trezeguet and Ibrahimović up front.
Bayern began in an unexpectedly offensive fashion and could have had their opponents in trouble with two clear chances inside four minutes. But Roque Santa Cruz's header and a decent Roy Makaay shot missed the target, and moments later Juventus goalkeeper Christian Abbiati was able to parry Michael Ballack's 18-metre free-kick to safety.
The Bianconeri, sporting an all-yellow change strip, had no midfield space to get into the game, with Pavel Nedvěd and company being outmuscled by Demichelis in the centre. As their confidence grew, Bayern edged closer to breaking the deadlock but Abbiati kept the game goalless with a spectacular save from Makaay's free-kick.
Magath's men continued to press and Deisler delivered the opener just after the half-hour when the German international stepped up the pace on the right wing, and with Abbiati expecting a cross, surprised the keeper with a shot at goal that he could only deflect into his own net. Deisler turned provider for the second goal seven minutes later, Demichelis doubling the advantage with a perfect header from a pinpoint corner.
Capello had seen enough and brought on Del Piero and Giorgio Chiellini for Mauro Camoranesi and Blasi after the break. But the hosts continued to dominate thanks to a strong left flank manned by Zé Roberto and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who replaced the once-again injured Lizarazu.
It took almost an hour before Juventus mustered their first clear-cut opportunity. Some 66,000 spectators watched Oliver Kahn comfortably stop Del Piero's free-kick from just outside the area. But with a third goal in the offing, it was brilliant Bayern who went closest as Makaay's volley from inside the box flashed past Abbiati's woodwork.
Just seconds later, Trezeguet failed to hit the target from a tight angle despite being unmarked. But besides Ibrahimović's late consolation, it was the home team's centre-halves, Lucio and Valérien Ismaël, who came to the fore in the latter stages as Bayern closed out victory to make their intentions in Europe clear.