Juventus emerged from the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg against FC Artmedia Petržalka with one foot in the group stage after a dominant performance in Turin.
With coach Claudio Ranieri leaving nothing to chance as he selected a strong side, the result was never really in doubt after Mauro Camoranesi and Alessandro Del Piero put the hosts two goals to the good inside the first half-hour. Giorgio Chiellini had made it 3-0 by the interval and Nicola Legrottaglie capped a fine team display with a last-gasp header to leave Juve on the cusp of a return to European club football's biggest stage.
Del Piero effort
In truth, the writing was pretty much on the wall for Artmedia from the kick off. The hosts surged forward, earning three corners within the first 120 seconds and it was not long before Camoranesi broke the deadlock, firing in at the near post on seven minutes. Zdeněk Grygera limped off with an injury soon after but it did not knock Juventus off their stride, and after David Trezeguet had fired wastefully wide Del Piero doubled the advantage with a magnificent long-range effort on 26 minutes. Still the Bianconeri surged forward and L'uboš Kamenár was sent to retrieve the ball yet again six minutes before half-time when Chiellini rose to head in Camoranesi's free-kick.
Gianluigi Buffon was a virtual spectator at the other end, but was finally called upon just before the interval to keep out Juraj Halenár's shot as the visitors looked for an unlikely route back into the tie. Order was quickly restored after the restart as Christian Poulsen was superbly denied by Kamenár at close range, though the keeper could only watch as substitute Vincenzo Iaquinta's shot from distance cannoned back off the upright. Legrottaglie did extend Juve's advantage late on, heading in Camoranesi's corner in the last minute, leaving the side all but sure of a return to the group stage.