Football - Champions League

Juventus too good for Nordsjælland

Juventus4 - 0FC Nordsjælland

Champions League Group E, Juventus Stadium – Juventus 4 (Marchisio 6, Vidal 23, Giovinco 37, Quagliarella 75) Nordsjælland 0

 
Juventus too good for Nordsjælland - Football - Champions LeagueAFP
 

Juventus rediscovered their winning touch with a ruthless 4-0 triumph over FC Nordsjælland in Group E of the Champions League.

The two-times winners roared out of the traps and grabbed the lead on six minutes when Claudio Marchisio arrived late in the area to sweep Mauricio Isla's cross beyond Jesper Hansen.

The hosts continued to dominate and went in at the interval with a three-goal advantage as Arturo Vidal's third goal in as many matches and Sebastian Giovinco's cool finish left the Danish minnows with a mountain to climb.

The Italians took their foot off the pedal slightly in the second period but should have added to their tally before substitute Fabio Quagliarella sealed the victory with a simple header 15 minutes from time.

The Old Lady had gone into the contest knowing that anything other than a win would be a serious blow to their hopes of making the knockout stage.

An unprecedented nine-match run of consecutive draws in European competition coupled with a first defeat in 49 Serie A encounters at the weekend meant the pressure was very much on at kick-off in Turin.

But the Bianconeri rose to the challenge, producing a first-half onslaught that must have had the visitors begging for the half-time whistle.

A super-charged start saw them fly out of the traps and take the lead on six minutes.

Great vision by Andrea Pirlo picked out Isla on the right and when he drove a superb ball across the six yard box, Marchisio arrived late to steer home.

The midfielder then forced a stunning save out of the over-worked Hansen before Vidal blazed over the top with the goal gaping after great work on the left by Giovinco.

The tone was set and the hosts made it two on 23 minutes when Vidal pounced, taking advantage of a defensive lapse to slide in and steer the ball beyond Hansen from a tight angle.

Alessandro Matri then crashed a header against the crossbar as the Danes struggled to find an answer to wave after wave of attacks from the Bianconeri.

A third was inevitable and the two-times winners of the competition got it when Pirlo led a lightning counter attack and set up Giovinco to coolly fire into the far corner.

If it wasn't for Hansen it could have been far worse for the Danish minnows - although they did improve following the break.

Hansen was still the busiest man of the pitch, first denying a blockbuster from Vidal before thwarting Pirlo's long ranger and Matri, who had one of those nights when he did everything but score.

With 15 minutes left Juventus finally added to their tally when Matri flicked on a near post header for Quagliarella to nod home.

The result means the Old Lady's winless run in Europe is over and sets them up for what will be two massive final matches in the group.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Andrea Pirlo - Juventus: The Italian played in second gear but was still at the heart of all Juventus' best moves. A maestro of a player.

PLAYER RATINGS

JUVENTUS: Buffon 6, Chiellini 6, Barzagli 6, Bonucci 6, Marchisio 8, Pirlo 8, Asamoah 7, Vidal 7, Isla 7, Giovinco 7, Matri 7. Subs: Lucio 6, Pogba 6, Quagliarella 7.

FC NORDSJAELLAND: Hansen.J 8, Okore 5, Mtiliga 5, Parkhurst 5, Runje 5, Adu 5, Stokholm 5, Lorentzen 4, Beckmann 4, John 5, Laudrup 4. Subs: Christensen 6, Christiansen 6, Nordstrand 5.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

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