Juventus beats Rapid 3-1

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:47 IST

Alessandro Del Piero scored twice and Zlatan Ibrahimovic added a third to guide Juventus to a 3-1 victory over

Vienna:

Alessandro Del Piero scored twice and Zlatan Ibrahimovic added a third to guide Juventus to a 3-1 victory and the European Champions League Group A title on Wednesday. The Italian club moved to the top of the group past Bayern Munich, which was held to a 1-1 draw by FC Brugge. Del Piero and Ibrahimovic scored all their goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half to take control. Marek Kincl scored Rapid's consolation goal in the 52nd minute. Juventus finished atop Group A with 15 points, two more than Bayern, which secured the other quarterfinal berth. Rapid was eliminated with its sixth loss in as many games. Rapid started with hope when Juventus keeper Christian Abiati had to dive to knock away Andreas Ivanschitz's free kick, and a few minutes later when Ivanschitz had his header again thwarted by Abiati. But Turin countered and earned a free kick, whichDel Piero converted from 33 meters in the 35th minute. Moments later, Ibrahimovic sprinted onto a through pass from Del Piero to double the lead and then returned the favor just before halftime, sending a shot on goal that Del Piero deflected past Rapid keeper Helge Payer. Rapid regained the majority of possession at the start of the second half, and finally converted with Kincl's goal in the 52nd. "We played a very good first half and converted our chances. The second half was not that good, but in the end we were never in danger of losing the three points,'' Juventus coach Fabio Capello said. Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira was fortunate when he touched a Rapid free kick with his left hand in the box, but referee Jaroslav Jara waived play on. (AP)

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