Wednesday, 13 August 2008

[CL] Juve prove too strong for Artmedia

Juventus emerged from the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg against Artmedia Bratislava with one foot in the group stage after a dominant performance in Turin.

Juventus 4-0 Artmedia BratislavaWith 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.

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.

Zdenek 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'ubos Kamenar 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 Halenar'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 Kamenar 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.

UEFA Champions League
Third Qualifying Round, First Leg

Tuesday 12 August
Fiorentina 2-0 Slavia Prague
Wednesday 13 August
Aalborg 2-0 Kaunas
Anorthosis Famagusta 3-0 Olympiakos
Barcelona 4-0 Wisla Krakow
Brann 0-1 Marseille
Galatasaray 2-2 Steaua Bucharest
Guimaraes 0-0 Basle
Juventus 4-0 Artmedia Petrzalka
Levski Sofia 0-1 BATE Borisov
Partizan Belgrade 2-2 Fenerbahce
Schalke 1-0 Atletico Madrid
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb
Sparta Prague 1-2 Panathinaikos
Spartak Moscow 1-4 Dynamo Kiev
Standard Liege 0-0 Liverpool
Twente 0-2 Arsenal

[Fiorentina 2-0 Slavia Prague] - [Juventus 4-0 Artmedia Bratislava]

Source: UEFA

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