David Trezeguet scored an 85th-minute winner as Juventus claimed a narrow victory against FC Bayern München to move alongside the Bundesliga outfit at the UEFA Champions League Group A summit.
The French striker had broken the deadlock just after the hour with a typically predatory goal. Sebastian Deisler levelled with a sweeping free-kick that evaded everybody five minutes later and that looked enough to earn Bayern a draw until Trezeguet struck his second late on, adroitly slotting in after cushioning Patrick Vieira's clever chip. There was still time for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to see red after receiving a second yellow card to take some of the gloss off Juve's success.
Fabio Capello made several changes to the side defeated 3-1 by AC Milan at the weekend. Alessandro Del Piero made a rare UEFA Champions League start behind the front two of Ibrahimovic and Trezeguet in an unfamiliar 3-4-1-2. Robert Kovač joined Lilian Thuram and Fabio Cannavaro at the back while Gianluca Zambrotta and Giorgio Chiellini flanked Vieira and Emerson.
The visitors made two alterations of their own following their 2-1 triumph over the Bianconeri at the Fußball Arena München a fortnight ago. The injured Bixente Lizarazu and Roque Santa Cruz made way for Bastian Schweinsteiger and Claudio Pizarro. Deployed in a 4-4-2 formation with Martin Demichelis at the base of a combative midfield diamond, Bayern looked set to defend their three-point lead at the top of the section.
The game got off to a lively start when Trezeguet almost scored at both ends in the space of a minute. First he forced Christian Abbiati to tip over the bar after glancing Zé Roberto's well-flighted free-kick dangerously goalwards, before quickly making amends by firing a fierce shot from distance which Oliver Kahn punched clear. Bayern should have taken the lead on 12 minutes, though, when Emerson lost possession to Roy Makaay but the Dutchman's poor connection was that of a striker struggling for form.
Trezeguet was similarly wasteful three minutes later when he applied a heavy boot to Zambrotta's near-post cross, when only a deft glance was required. Capello would have been disappointed by that, and still more when his team committed a flurry of fouls just outside their area against opponents he had labelled "the best side in Europe at set-pieces". The visitors failed to capitalise, however, Michael Ballack going closest when he guided Deisler's cross just over.
The game became scrappy before the break, with bookings and poor passing making for a disjointed affair, but the introduction of Pavel Nedvěd for Del Piero immediately breathed new life into the Bianconeri after the restart. The Czech midfielder exchanged passes with Ibrahimovic on the edge of the box only for Chiellini to curl a shot well over the woodwork in the 47th minute. The two combined again shortly after only for Willy Sagnol to block the Swede's goal-bound effort.
It was the energetic Nedvěd who forced the opener on 62 minutes. His strong run was eventually halted by Lucio's desperate challenge inside the area, and Trezeguet pounced on the loose ball to slot past Kahn. The advantage was fleeting, though, and five minutes later Bayern were level from one of those set-pieces so dreaded by Capello. Deisler's arcing delivery from all of 30 metres evaded everybody, including Abbiati, before dropping inside the far post. It looked to have earned Bayern a point until Trezeguet struck again.