Juventus JUV
Higuaín 16', Federico Bernardeschi 60', Cristiano 87'

Cristiano adds gloss as Juventus ease to win over Bayer

Calum Roche

Juventus - Bayer Leverkusen live online: Champions League

Juventus 3-0 Bayer Leverkusen: as it happened

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After a very tepid affair in the first 45 - and just a Higuaín goal separating the sides - both teams came out looking livelier in the second half. That being said, it was a relatively comfortable night's work for Juventus who saw Bernardeschi and then Cristiano Ronaldo tie up the three points.

The victory takes them top of Group D on goal difference as Atlético Madrid won their game 2-0.


Peep, peep, peeeeep! It's all over.


Cristiano, buoyed by that goal, collects in the left channel and tries to pick out an outside-of-the-right-boot cross. Blocked.


We've got three additional minutes to see out.

From that last attack by the Germans, Juve break and Dybala lays the ball into the path of his number seven. Ronaldo then chooses power again and the ball fires low passed the onrushing keeper into the net. Game. Over.


Goooooaaaaaaalllll!! Cristiano makes it three.


Cracking covering play from de Ligt, sliding across just as the threat was on.


Nice play on the left between Sandro and Cristiano then allows Pjanic to switch the move to Dybala on the right. The Argentine cuts inside and lets fly with a curling effort but it's straight down the throat of Hradecky.


Dybala says 'ciao'. Higuaín says, erm, 'ciao'.


The corner is delivered well and Tah manages to rise above the rest to get a header away. It drops just over the bar and Sarri now is about to make another change.


Amiri tries his luck from distance. It's a sweet enough strike but the closing defender makes sure that Szczesny is unbothered, given away a corner in the process.


Sinkgraven on for Aranguiz. Can Bosz do anything to turn this game on its head. (For what it's worth, I really don't think so)


Very late challenge from Higuaín sees a foul handed the other way. In saying that, fair play to the Argentine for the effort shown.


Welshman Aaron Ramsey is sent on by Sarri as he looks to see out the game. Bernardeschi is off.


SAVE! Cristiano again thwarted by Hradecky. The Portuguese star in the area hits hard when a more thoughtful shot may have been the better option.


Bentancur comes on for Khedira

(Paulinho also entered the fray for Bayer a couple of minutes ago replacing Alario)


The Bundesliga side almost self-implode as a back pass rolls close to Hradecky's line and the goalkeeper plays out between two attacking closers.

A following play at the other end sees Ronaldo connect perfectly with an overhead kick, clearing from his own area to almost the half-way line.

Out of interest, Atlético Madrid are matching Juve's score at the moment, goals from Félix and Partey.


A neat one-two between Khedira and Matuidi almost fashions a chance for a third. The deflected cross from the German international pops up in the air and is cleared as black and white shirts looked to pounce.


With 25 minutes still to play, we should never write off a team, but Bayer have just not shown enough in the attacking third to suggest they can get back into this. Let's see of they can prove me wrong...


Goooooaaaaaaaallllllll!!!!! Cristiano to Higuaín and then onto Bernardeschi who finishes off in style.

Hmmmm? Collum is checking with VAR. Not sure why...


SAVE! Cuadrado does excellently to roll the ball in from the right into the feet of Cristiano. He controls and drills an effort goalwards but Hradecky is up to the task and blocks it wonderfully. 


The game is certainly more stretched. First Ronaldo is played into space as Juve break down the left. Then Bayer look to counter down the opposite side of the pitch. Dare I say that a goal may be coming?


Bernardeschi set free down the right by Pjanic. The cross eventually comes in and finds Cristiano with just a moment to make up his mind. He chooses to go for a half-overhead kick towards goal (fluffing it) when it seemed considerably more sensible to take a touch and create for a teammate.


A couple of opportunities almost open up for the Vecchia Signora but enough red shirts keep any shots at bay. There is a better feel about this second half's play.


Excellent interplay creates space down the right for Havertz to run onto. Corner given.

The corner is cleared, only as far as Aranguiz whose first time hit has Szczesny, and the watching masses worried. Good start to the second half from the visitors.


The first build-up is played forward a little too quickly and it runs out of play for a Bayer goal kick. 

The talks are done and the teams are back out on the pitch. Cristiano looks very focused as Juve get us going...

The bulk of the play has been in the central third, neither team looking particularly inventive in attack. That does, of course, mean that both Sarri and Bosz have a chance to influence the flow of the match with their cleverly chosen half-time words. Let's see...

CR7 touch first 45

Cristiano Ronaldo has drifted across the pitch in that first half (as can be seen from his touchmap) but has not been able to put a real stamp on the game. 

Not a half to write home about here at the Juventus stadium. Juve have edged the chances but have failed to take real control of a match that is calling out for them to do so. Will they mind? With this scoreline, not a jot 


Nothing to report in the 'bonus' minute. The half-time whistle blows...


We're going to have just the one minute added on.


Just as I say that, a ball from the right across the Juve box almost sees two home defenders get in each other's way as they attempted to clear. That could have spelled danger but a lack of support in attack allowed the home side to get back on it.


Bayer have actually had almost two-thirds of possession thus far, but they have failed to do anything of note with it.


BOOM! Higuaín wakes up the fans with a blistering strike but it's too close to Hradecky who block-punches clear.


More play that is hardly worth a mention. Sandro clear the ball from his left-back role and it goes straight to a red shirt. Said red shirt miscontrols and Juve have it back.


A period of nothing has filled the last few minutes. A void. Time that none of us watching will ever get back...


Crunching tackle in the middle of the park from Khedira almost opens up a fabulous opportunity for the hosts to break. Bernardeschi then tries to link up the attack with a deft poke but is caught in the process and the game is stopped for some treatment to the Italian.


Higuaín thinks he's in. Damn that pesky flag that says he was in front of the last man when he made his run.


Bayer suggest that they may have something to say and Volland gets a snap shot off, blocked well for a corner. The dead ball is then wasted. 


Most of the play now being dominated by Juve. No real chances being created but Sarri will be delighted if his side are able to see this game conclude without the disappointed of what happened in Madrid two weeks ago.


Free-kick from deep delivered into the Bayer penalty area but the black and white running pack are all in front of it and any threat is headed clear well. The visitors looking to steady the ship now.


Aranguiz is first to see his name in the ref's notepad.

Almost out of nothing, the Argentine picks the ball up and moves onto the edge of the Bayer area where he unleashes a sweet strike. Hradecky had no chance.


Gooooaaaaallll! Higuaín puts Juve ahead.


Handy free kick for Juve here as Cuadrado is happy to go to ground under pressure from Bender.

Pjanic delivers but the crowd in the area avoids danger.


No real pattern forming yet, but then Cuadrado is set free into a gaping space down the right. Under pressure he fires a sharp, low cross into the area but a lack of supporting players sees it run through.


Medium press from Juve has their guests tapping the ball around their own defensive line. It's one of those aspects of the modern game where it looks good to put pressure on the opposition in their own half, but if not done well just allows a simple period of possession. This was a case in point.

From that control, a half-hearted effort from Demirbay, flying over the bar from distance, ends the spell.


Ronaldo gets involved. Looks to skip passed Mitchell Weiser but the German does well to read it, at the expense of a corner.

Nothing comes of the resulting play and Bayer step away with the ball.


First half chance, and that is all it really was, goes to the visitors. A ball across the edge of the Juve area is latched onto by Alario but his effort is high and wide.


Immediately the hosts get on the ball and threaten in the Bayer area. A slip by Bernardeschi means that Higuaín's cut back from the left causes no danger.

And we're off.

UEFA anthem complete, final handshakes on the pitch done, coin toss and pennant swap facilitated by Mr Collum. It's almost time to go.

The offcials exchange pleasantries and lead the two sets of players, along with their mascots, out onto the field.

The teams are in the tunnel at the Juventus Stadium. Lots of hugs, handshakes and smiles between the players.

The referee for tonight's game is experienced Scotsman Willie Collum. The 40-year old became a FIFA Elite Referee in 2012, and last season took control of four Champions League games, dishing out 24 bookings.

Not long now till KO, as the early games in the Champions League come to a close.


Talking of recent games, Juve legend Gianluigi Buffon broke Paolo Maldini's appearances record in the win over SPAL. Just the 903 appearances for the 41-year-old goalkeeper.

The Old Lady finds herself in a rather strange position right now. The Turin giants have become so accustomed to watching their rivals battle it out below them in Serie A over recent seasons that, even after just six games, being part of the chasing pack is somewhat unfamiliar.

Far from overly dominant in many of their opening games, their two points dropped came away in Florence.

After that disappointing loss in their opening European game, the German side have since won their two league games, scoring five while maintaining an unsoiled sheet.

Although Juve come into this as clear favourites, they'd be wise to keep an eye on Kevin Volland. The 27-year-old German scored 15 goals last season and has notched up four already this season, helping Bayer to sixth place in the Bundesliga after six games. 

A little glimpse into the home dressing room

As per Sarri's comments ahead of the game, there was always going to be someone missing out. Dybala will take his place on the bench as the Italian coach keeps him in reserve. Things should go to plan, though...

Bayer XI | Hradecky; L.Bender, Tah, S.Bender, Wendell; Havertz, Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger, Demirbay; Alario, Volland

Juventus XI | Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Higuaín, Ronaldo

Right, team news coming in...

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A bit of an arty montage from the Germans

Maurizio Sarri comes into this game knowing that nothing less than a victory will do, but does have some decisions to make on his starting line-up.

The manager said in the build up that "playing Cristiano, Dybala and Higuaín all together from the start is an interesting suggestion." Very soon we'll know what he goes with.

The Italian champions had a tough opening fixture at the Wanda Metropolitano, which ended in a 2-2 draw, while the German side went down 1-2 in their group debut against Locomotiv.

Hello and welcome to this evening's live Champions League coverage as Juventus welcome Bayer Leverkusen to the Allianz Stadium in Turin.