Juventus were in trouble, looking to find its feet after two troublesome draws in the Champions League. Things weren't looking right. Things were basically win or else the Europa League is starting to make plans for a visit or two to Turin.
That's what past tense is for.
Wednesday night, the Juventus we had seen so many times before in the last 18 months final showed its face on the European stage. About damn time.
Juve attacked early, attacked often. It was a convincing victory in every sense of the term.
Look at when Juve scored in the first half: Sixth minute, 23rd minute, 37th minute.
Done and dusted. Three points in the bag by the time halftime rolled around. There would be no nail biting to be done. There would be last-minute goal to lift Juventus to a victory.
And that's the Juventus we know and love. They needed a win, they got a win.
Now if only Chelsea hadn't scored that last-second winner against Shakhtar, things would be looking a whole lot better. Still, it's nice to get the monkey off the Champions League back — and now the stage is set for a massive tie in two weeks at Juventus Stadium.
That should be fun — hopefully.
My Men of the Match: MEN? Yes, men. And you know the three letters: M-V-P. Two goals, an assist, and lots of awesome. That's the job that Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal, and Andrea Pirlo did against Nordsjaelland on Wednesday. When you out-tackle Vidal, like Marchisio did, you know you're having a good game. And Marchisio's opener got things going. Vidal was back to his usual beastly self, as evident by his slide tackle turned goal in the 23rd minute. And Pirlo? Well, he was Andrea Pirlo. Need we say more?
They were all great. And that's exactly what Juventus needed.