Nicola Legrottaglie celebrates after putting Juventus ahead
By Chris Bevan
Three first-half goals saw Juventus take command of their Europa League last-16 tie with Fulham, but Dickson Etuhu's goal gave the Cottagers hope.
Nicola Legrottaglie nodded the Italian side ahead from Diego's ninth-minute corner and Jonathan Zebina made it 2-0 with a fierce 25-yard strike.
Etuhu replied with a shot that took a huge deflection off Legrottaglie.
But David Trezeguet gave Juve breathing space for the second leg, reacting quickly after he had hit the post.
Fulham have rightly won plaudits, and caused plenty of surprises, during their progress in Europe this season but the defensive organisation that has been a hallmark of their displays was absent in the early stages at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino.
Cottagers boss Roy Hodgson, who has spent time in Serie A with Inter Milan and Udinese during a long and successful managerial career, will have been disappointed with the manner in which Juve took the lead after just nine minutes.
After Trezeguet's clever flicked header was pushed around the post by Mark Schwarzer, Diego's corner was met by the leaping Legrottaglie, who rose unmarked to send a powerful header bouncing into the roof of the Fulham net.
Fulham did improve after going behind, but they rarely looked like levelling and a Simon Davies miscue from a smart Damien Duff pull-back was their only sight of goal in the opening half-hour.
Juve continued to look menacing, however, and their second goal on 25 minutes showed the quality in their ranks even if there were more question marks over the visitors' defending.
After good work by Antonio Candreva, who held the ball up on the edge of the area, Zebina rode Davies' weak challenge and slammed an unstoppable shot that flew past Schwarzer and went in off the far post.
At that stage, things looked grim for Fulham but they were soon back in the tie thanks to a huge slice of luck.
Davies lofted a free-kick into the box which fell for Etuhu, and the Nigerian midfielder swivelled to fire in a shot that took a massive deflection off Legrottaglie before rolling into the opposite corner.
Suddenly the Cottagers were rampant and they went close to levelling soon after, when Alex Manninger clawed away a Brede Hangeland header, then threatened again with shots from Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora.
Given Fulham's impressive home record in Europe this season - they are unbeaten and have won five out of six matches - you fancied their chances of overturning a 2-1 scoreline at Craven Cottage.
So Hodgson will have been especially disappointed to see them concede again, from another corner, in first-half injury time after Schwarzer had done brilliantly to turn away Fabio Grosso's shot.
More poor marking allowed Trezeguet time first to fire a shot against the post, and then to smash the rebound back into the opposite corner.
That was the last action of a thrilling first half but the second period contained nothing like as much excitement.
Juventus appeared happy with their lead while Fulham, with an away goal in the bag, also seemed happy to shut up shop.
Diego's swerving low shot caused Schwarzer problems before the end and Vincenzo Iaquinta should have found the target with a late header for Juve, but that was as close as the game got to another goal.
It leaves Fulham with a huge, but not insurmountable task in west London next week - but their defending will have to improve markedly if their European adventure is to continue into the quarter-finals.
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