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Juventus Returns To Champions League In Style

Juventus marked its return to the European Champions League after an enforced two-year absence with a stylish 4-0 win over Slovakia’s Artmedia on Wednesday night.

Goals from Camoranesi, Del Piero, Chiellini and Legrottaglie made the return  leg in Slovakia all but academic for the Italian giants.

At Turin, Juventus got goals from Mauro. The club was relegated to Italy’s Serie B following the 2005-6 season for its role in a match-fixing scandal, then finished third in Serie A last season.

“The return to European Cup play is important, and the boys really wanted this win,” Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri said. “This is an important win, but we have to be sure to concentrate for the return game.”

Another big name winning comfortably on Wednesday night was Barcelona who routed visiting Wisla Krakow of Poland 4-0. Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry have been rumored to be leaving Barcelona both scored in the game and are now ineligible to play in the Champions League for another club this season.

Olympique Marseille won 1-0 at Norway’s Brann on a goal by Bruno Cheyrou, and Schalke, playing with a man advantage, defeated Atletico Madrid 1-0 when Christian Pander curled a 20-yard free kick over a wall and into the top left corner of goalkeeper Leo Franco’s net in the 20th minute.

Cypriot champion Anorthosis Famagusta beat Greece’s Olympiakos 3-0.

The second legs of the total-goals series will be played in two weeks. The winners advance to the 32-team group stage of the world’s top club soccer tournament along with 16 clubs that directly qualified by finishing first or second in their national leagues last season.

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