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Del Piero sinks Real as Juve go through

sports Updated: Nov 06, 2008 15:19 IST
Iain Rogers
Iain Rogers
Reuters
Del Piero double sinks Real as Juve go through

Alessandro Del Piero scored two stunning goals to give Juventus a 2-0 victory at Real Madrid on Wednesday to put the Italians through to the Champions League knockout stage.

The World Cup-winning striker grabbed the opener in the 2-1 win over Real in Turin two weeks ago and repeated the feat after 17 minutes at the Bernabeu, crashing a left-foot shot past keeper Iker Casillas as the defence backed off.

Del Piero's second came from a direct free kick on 67 minutes which he whipped past Real's badly-positioned wall into the left-hand corner of the net with Casillas rooted to the spot.

He almost had a third near the end when a close-range effort slipped past the post and the crowd rose as one to applaud the 33-year-old when he was substituted in injury time.

"When you have a great player who is performing superbly and giving his all for the team the colour of his shirt does not matter," Juve coach Claudio Ranieri told a news conference.

"They applaud because they are applauding football, they are applauding a thing of beauty."

With four matches played, Juve top Group H on 10 points. Real are second on six, Zenit St Petersburg have four and BATE Borisov of Belarus two.

ROBBEN MISSING

Real coach Bernd Schuster included Arjen Robben in his team but the Dutch winger was injured in the warmup and replaced by compatriot Royston Drenthe.

The Primera Liga champions sorely missed Robben's pace and penetration and found it hard to create chances, particularly in the second half, despite dominating for long periods.

Sergio Ramos almost equalised on 24 minutes but his half-volley flew over the bar. Fit-again striker Ruud van Nistelrooy blasted narrowly over before halftime and substitute Gonzalo Higuain sliced a Drenthe cross wide in the second half.

Schuster said Real deserved more from the match but paid tribute to Juve's defensive performance.

"I could not have asked more from my team," he said. "It's true that luck wasn't really with us on Wednesday night but you have to accept these things and we still have a good chance to qualify for the next round."

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