Wednesday November 27 2013
CL: Vidal hat-trick revives Juve!

Arturo Vidal’s hat-trick gave Juventus a 3-1 victory over Copenhagen, so they’ll qualify with a point in Istanbul.

The Chilean became the first Juve player to score a Champions League treble since Pippo Inzaghi in a 4-4 with Hamburg in September 2000 and ended their six-game winless streak in the tournament. As Galatasaray lost 4-1 to 10-man Real Madrid, the Italians will go through if they avoid defeat in the final game.

The Bianconeri were still without a victory in Group B and bottom on three points, but Copenhagen and Galatasaray had four, so a win here was absolutely essential. Andrea Barzagli, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Mauricio Isla and Sebastian Giovinco were sidelined, but Angelo Ogbonna still benched in favour of Martin Caceres. Copenhagen were without Daniel Braaten and held Juve to a 1-1 draw earlier this season.

There were threats from the Juve ultras to go on ‘strike’ in the stands after the closure of the Curva in Serie A, but that was suspended and they got behind their team.

Paul Pogba sprung the offside trap early on only to fire straight at Johan Wiland, while Carlos Tevez had a volley deflected wide and another charged down by ex-Juve defender Olof Mellberg.

Juve were struggling to find a way through amid all the pressure, until Lars Jacobsen bizarrely chose to put out his hands and block an Andrea Pirlo cross for Pogba, as he seemed to not know where the ball was. It was an inevitable penalty and one that Arturo Vidal converted powerfully at the near post despite Wiland guessing the right corner.

Pirlo had a couple of free kicks and Vidal didn’t get enough power to a curler to beat Wiland, while Pogba hit the side-netting.

Straight after the restart, the Danes were dangerous as the ball ricocheted around the six-yard box until it was eventually bundled wide. Fernando Llorente held up a Kwadwo Asamoah cross for Tevez to blast over, then the Ghanaian’s effort was charged down in the box.

Copenhagen grabbed an equaliser when a throw-in was catapulted into the box, the defence failed to deal with the high ball and ex-Juve man Mellberg fired in on the volley from 12 yards. Replays show Claudemir had his feet over the line, so it was a foul throw.

However, Mellberg wrestled Llorente to the ground as the Spaniard tried to turn and shoot, leading to another penalty. Vidal stepped up again and this time sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Chilean midfielder Vidal was star of the show, as he completed his hat-trick moments later with a stunning header. He hung in the air and looped a Pogba cross back across the face of goal into the far top corner.

Gigi Buffon’s first save of the night was on 66 minutes, turning a sudden Youssef Toutouh snapshot round the post, but there was another mad scramble in the six-yard box that the Bianconeri struggled to clear.

Juventus moved to a four-man defence and Wiland blocked a Pirlo free kick, while Vidal was granted a standing ovation with his late substitution.

Juventus 3-1 Copenhagen

Scorers: Vidal pens 29, 61 and 63 (J), Mellberg 56 (C)

Juventus: Buffon; Caceres, Bonucci, Chiellini; Padoin (Marchisio 69), Vidal (Ogbonna 83), Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Tevez (Vucinic 81), Llorente

Copenhagen: Wiland; Jacobsen, Mellberg, R Sigurdsson, Bengtsson; Gislason, Claudemir, Delaney (Amankwaa 77), Bolanos (Kristensen 60), Toutouh (Pourie 81); N Jorgensen

Ref: Eriksson (SWE)

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