MATCH REPORT: CHELSEA 2 JUVENTUS 2

Posted on: Thu 20 Sep 2012

Summary
Our defence of the Champions League trophy began in disappointing style as we threw away a two-goal lead, drawing 2-2 with Juventus on what was only the third occasion in which we'd failed to win our opening group game.

Everything was going according to plan when Oscar drove us in front, via the aid of a deflection, in the 30th minute, and two minutes later we looked to be heading for a comfortable victory when the youngster doubled our advantage with a sublime strike which gave Gianluigi Buffon no chance.

Juventus reduced the deficit five minutes later when Arturo Vidal fired home, and while the Blues had a legitimate penalty claim waved away after the break when Eden Hazard was tripped inside the penalty area, the visitors always looked dangerous.

The equaliser came nine minutes from time when the substitute Fabio Quagliarella raced on to Claudio Marchisio's pass to secure a point.

Attention now turns towards a Premier League clash at home to Stoke City on Saturday where we will be looking to get back to winning ways and maintain our place at the top of the league.

Team news
Roberto Di Matteo made only one change to the Chelsea team which drew 0-0 at Loftus Road on Saturday, with Oscar being handed his first start for the club since joining in the summer, Ryan Bertrand the player making way. David Luiz partnered captain John Terry in central defence, while Fernando Torres, withdrawn against Queens Park Rangers, retained his place in the side as the lone striker, making his 50th start for the club. Juan Mata, who missed the weekend's game after being given some time off, returned to the squad, although the Spaniard had to be content with a place on the bench. Daniel Sturridge, meanwhile, missed out after picking up a hamstring strain.

First half
It was a bright start from the Blues, with two corners forced inside the opening couple of minutes, and while the first was easily cleared, David Luiz went close from the second, although the defender couldn't get enough power behind his header to seriously trouble Buffon.

Juventus, though, unlike many Italian sides playing away from home, were happy to push men forward early on, and it required a smart David Luiz block to prevent Mirko Vucinic from slipping his strike partner Sebastian Giovinco through on goal.

The play flowed back and forth as both sides attempted to gain an early advantage, but it was the visitors who had the first real sight of goal, Marchisio racing on to a Leonardo Bonucci clearance in the 21st minute, only to be denied by the lightning quick reflexes of Petr Cech, who raced off his line to parry the midfielder's effort.

The Chelsea defence was breached again moments later as Stephan Lichtsteiner played in Vucinic, but with the goal at his mercy the Montenegro international somehow scuffed his effort into the side-netting.

Chelsea v Juventus

It was an opportunity the Italians were made to pay for on the half-hour mark as Chelsea took the lead. Oscar pounced on a loose ball 25 yards from goal, and as the youngster struck from distance, his effort took a wicked deflection off Bonucci and flew past the stranded Buffon.

Two minutes later, with the supporters still on their feet celebrating his first strike, Oscar doubled his tally for the night with one of the goals of the season so far, spinning on the edge of the box and bending an absolute peach of a strike into the top corner.

Di Matteo had opted to ease the 20-year-old into the side gradually over the course of the opening few weeks of the campaign, but in the space of a couple of minutes he had given the Stamford Bridge faithful a glimpse of his unquestionable abilities.

Chelsea v Juventus

Five minutes later, however, the away side were back in the game courtesy of a powerful, low strike into the bottom corner by Vidal, a goal which, in truth, they will have felt their first half performance merited.

Buoyed by their sudden reprieve, Juventus sensed unease in the Blues defence as the half drew to a close, and they were almost level with the last kick of the half, Andrea Pirlo's free-kick sailing inches past Cech's right-hand post.

Second half
Chelsea, unchanged from the first half, came out after the break eager to restore our two-goal advantage, and shortly after Ramires narrowly failed to connect with a Hazard cross, Buffon saved low down to his right from an impressive Branislav Ivanovic effort.

The veteran Italian goalkeeper was called into action again moments later when he did well to save a thumping Frank Lampard free-kick as we stepped up the pressure.

The referee, who had incensed the home supporters with a string of decisions in the opening 45 minutes, did little to enhance his standing with them when he denied the Blues what appeared to be a certain penalty as Hazard was brought down inside the box by Chiellini.

Chelsea v Juventus

Juventus were growing into the game as the half wore on, and after Lampard lost possession just outside our own penalty area, David Luiz made a stunning last-gasp block to deny Marchisio as he looked to pull the trigger.

Sensing the visitors were beginning to take control of proceedings, Di Matteo made his first substitution of the night, replacing Ramires with Ryan Bertrand, a switch which saw Hazard move out to the right-hand side and Bertrand play ahead of Ashley Cole on the left.

Soon after it was Oscar making way, the Brazilian suffering after being caught by a late tackle minutes earlier, with Mata coming on to play in behind Torres.

The Spaniard's impact was almost instant, but after linking up well with Hazard his left-footed strike flew wide of Buffon's post, and from the subsequent attack Juventus were level.

Marchisio picked up possession midway inside the Chelsea half and was afforded far too much time to slide his pass into the path of the substitute Fabio Qualiarella, who took one touch before calmly rolling the ball through the legs of the advancing Cech, sending the travelling hordes behind the goal delirious.

Chelsea v Juventus

As the clock ticked down it was Juventus firmly in the ascendancy, and Quagliarella almost turned the game completely on its head when he turned on the edge of the box and crashed a strike against the bar with what was the last attempt on goal.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry (c), Cole; Mikel, Lampard; Ramires (Bertrand 68), Oscar (Mata 74), Hazard; Torres.
Unused substitutes: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Romeu, Moses.
Scorers Oscar 31, 33
Booked Ramires 59

Juventus (3-5-2): Buffon (c); Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner (Isla 76), Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Vucinic (Matri 87), Giovinco (Quagliarella 74).
Unused substitutes: Storari, Lucio, Giaccherini, Marrone
Scorers Vidal 37, Quagliarella 80
Booked Vidal 65

Referee Pedro Proenca (Portugal)
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