Soccer

Del Piero guides Juventus to victory

Alessandro Del Piero scored on his 500th club appearance Saturday and Juventus beat Bari 4-2 to take the sole lead of Italy's Serie B.

Alessandro Del Piero scored on his 500th club appearance Saturday and Juventus beat Bari 4-2 to take the sole lead of Italy's Serie B.

Del Piero scored in the 67th minute from inside the area off a pass from Marco Marchionni.

Juventus, which was demoted and penalized nine points in the Italian match-fixing scandal, leads Serie B with 38 points. Napoli, which drew 1-1 with Lecce, has 36 points and Bari 28.

Del Piero, 32, is only the third person to play 500 times for Juventus— almost 14 years after making his debut for the Turin powerhouse.

Giuseppe Furino appeared 528 times in midfield between 1969-1979, while defender Gaetano Scirea made a club record of 552 appearances between 1974-1988.

''I am proud of this milestone, sealed by a really good game and a goal,'' Del Piero said.

Nedved returns

Del Piero, the Juventus captain, was presented before the match with a personalized car number plate reading ''ALE 500'' and a scale model of automaker Fiat's new Cinquecento car.

Juventus is owned by the Agnelli family, which also owns Fiat.

Vincenzo Santoruvo gave Bari a surprise lead after only 36 seconds, tapping in from close range.

But Juventus soon settled, and France striker David Trezeguet equalized in the 33rd for his eighth goal of the season.

Pavel Nedved, returning from a five-match suspension, scored the Bianconeri's other goals. The midfielder struck in the 44th, after dribbling through Bari's defence, and capped an energetic display with his second in the 78th off Del Piero's pass.

Del Piero received a standing ovation from fans in the 86th, when he was substituted by Valeri Bojinov.

Defender Carlo Gervasoni scored Bari's second goal with a header in the 89th.

Juventus was without Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (injury) and defender Jonathan Zebina (suspension).