Old ladies back on track
Posted by sportainmentblog
Juventus gave their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League a sizeable boost, with a 4-0 win over FC Nordsjaelland in Turin.
Goals from Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal, Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella saw off the visitors, as the Bianconeri bounced back from defeat to Inter.
The Old Lady were fast out of the blocks, with Marchisio slotting home from Mauricio Isla’s low, right-wing cross after just six minutes.
The Italy international was nearly celebrating again moments later, but after deftly controlling Vidal’s through ball on his knee, his subsequent volley was well saved by Jesper Hansen.
The Bianconeri kept coming, though, and Vidal made amends for skying an early chance over the bar when well placed in the area, by making it 2-0 in what were farcical circumstances.
Hesitation from defender Kasper Lorentzen allowed the Chilean to beat Hansen at his near post with a tackle-cum-shot, to double his side’s lead and leave the visitors with a mountain to climb.
There was no respite for the Danes, who were completely outclassed in a one-sided first-half. A perfect corner from Andrea Pirlo found Alessandro Matri waiting, but his header could only find the crossbar.
Moments later it was Hansen who once again came to the rescue when he fended away a storming effort from Marchisio, but Juve would not have to wait long to record their third.
Giovinco was given space down the right hand side of the box, and the striker struck a beautifully-executed looping shot that gave the goalkeeper absolutely no chance and put his side in cruise control at the break.
Just three minutes after the restart, the vibrant hosts were already on the march looking to add to their tally.
Vidal had the chance to let loose with a volley from the edge of the box, but Hansen was equal to the challenge to prevent Juve from adding to their lead – at least for the time being.
With an hour played FCN had their best effort of the match, finally forcing a save from Gianluigi Buffon after a decent effort from Patrick Mtiliga.
That strike failed to upset the pattern of play, though, and Matri was left clean through against Hansen and should have added a fourth, but the striker hesitated in rounding the keeper and saw his chance disappear.
There was to be one final flourish from the reigning Serie A champions on 75 minutes. Pirlo’s corner was headed across the goalmouth by Matri, and Quagliarella was on hand to complete the rout.
The win moves Juventus up to second place in Group E, while Nordsjaelland remain in fourth place and face an almost impossible task to qualify for the knockout stages.
Watch the full match highlights: