Del Piero double rocks Real
Alessandro Del Piero's double saw Juventus do the double over Real Madrid and take charge of Group H.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 05/11/08 10:56pm
A brilliant brace by Alessandro Del Piero gave Juventus a convincing win at Real Madrid and put the Italians in control of Group H.
The home side bossed possession throughout but were frustrated by Juve's stubborn resistance, which allowed the Serie A giants to complete a Champions League double over Real.
Del Piero's 17th-minute strike gave Juve the lead against the run of play before the former Italy international stunned the Bernabeu into silence with a trademark free-kick in the 67th minute.
The 33-year-old has rolled back the years in this season's competition, with this double taking his tally to four goals in four games.
And the manner in which Juve comfortably disposed of the Spanish champions suggests the Bianconeri could be challenging for a third European title this term.
Royston Drenthe was given his second start of the season for Real after Arjen Robben was injured in the warm-up, while Swedish defender Olof Mellberg came in for his first Champions League start for Juve.
Recalled midfielder Guti hit an early effort straight at Juve goalkeeper Alex Manninger, while Wesley Sneijder and Mahamadou Diarra were both off target.
Juve then snatched the lead from their only shot in the first half as Guti gave the ball away cheaply to Marco Marchionni inside his own half, and ex-Juve defender Fabio Cannavaro backed off Del Piero, allowing his former team-mate to fire home left-footed from 25 yards.
Real missed a glorious chance to draw level when Sneijder's left-wing cross found Sergio Ramos completely unmarked at the far post, only for the Real right-back to volley into the ground and over the crossbar.
Real striker Ruud van Nistelrooy returned from a knee injury and fired his first shot narrowly over in the 37th minute, and although Guti's exquisite through-ball sent Drenthe clear, Mellberg recovered well to snuff out the young Dutch winger.
Diarra headed wide unmarked from Drenthe's cross as Real finished the half strongly, before Drenthe fired into the side-netting shortly after the restart.
Tempers began to flare as Real had strong penalty shouts turned down for shoves by Giorgio Chiellini on Van Nistelrooy and Nicola Legrottaglie on Raul.
The hosts just could not find a way through the visitors' defence, though, and Del Piero left Real keeper Iker Casillas looking foolish as he swept a 30-yard free-kick over the wall and inside Casillas' right-hand post.The closest Real went to pulling one back was when substitute Gonzalo Higuain was unable to turn Drenthe's low cross goalwards at the back post, although Del Piero almost claimed his hat-trick before being applauded off by the home crowd late on.
|Real Madrid||Team Statistics||Juventus|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|4||Shots on Target||3|
|8||Shots off Target||2|