Copenhagen might take a small bit of comfort in from the fact that this season they qualified for the Champions League group stages, but they'll still likely be a bit down about tonight's loss to Juventus dumping them out of this year's tournament. As for Juventus, their fate is yet to be decided: if Galatasaray win in Turkey next time out, Juventus will have to resign themselves to the Europa League. Still, considering the hosts started the evening dead last in their group, you'll hear no Juve fans complaining tonight.
Right from the start, Juventus were in control of the match -- it was only a matter of when, not if, the Old Lady would break through Copenhagen's defenses. Sure enough, just before the half-hour mark, the visitors slipped up. Lars Jacobsen, concentrating on trying to keep Paul Pogba from slipping behind him, took his eye off the ball and wound up hitting it with his arm. The referee pointed to the spot and it was Arturo Vidal that stepped up. His penalty was a beauty, low and to his left, leaving Johan Wiland no chance.
Copenhagen, however, managed to surprise almost everyone by scoring on their fist real threat of the match. From a free kick in the final third, Juventus were just not able to
But Copenhagen's hero quickly turned villian when, not even five minutes later, Mellberg brought down Fernando Llorente inside the area. It looked as though the defender had denied a clear goal scoring opportunity, but the referee let him off with just a yellow -- and a spot kick for Juventus, of course. Vidal stepped up again and, wisely, put his penalty in exactly the same place.
That wasn't enough for the Chilean, however. No, it just had to be a hat trick. Less than two minutes later, Vidal put one in from open play, getting on the end of a cross from Pogba to head the ball across Wiland and into the back of the net. If Vidal wasn't already a Juventus hero, he certainly will be considered one after tonight.
Juventus: Buffon, Chiellini, Bonucci, Cáceres, Asamoah, Pogba, Pirlo, Vidal (Ogbonna 83), Padoin (Marchisio 69), Tévez (Vučinić 81), Llorente
Goals: Vidal 29', 61', 63'
Copenhagen: Wiland, Bengtsson, Sigurdsson, Melberg, Jacobsen, Delaney (Amankwaa 76), Claudemir, Bolaños (Kristensen 61), Toutouh (Pourie 81), Jorgensen, Gislason
Goals: Mellberg 56'