Match Report

UYL report: Chelsea 1 Juventus 3

Juventus beat our young Blues 3-1 which confims them as UEFA Youth League Group H winners and means we must avoid defeat against Zenit in our final group game to make it into the next round.

Three first-half goals did the damage at Cobham ensuring we have it all to do when we travel to Russia in a fortnight's time. 

Team news

There were a number of changes as Andy Myers shook up the line-up. Joe Haigh, Edwin Andersson, Richard Olise, Lucas Bergstrom and Brodie Hughes all came in as we looked to avenge our 3-1 loss in Turin.

Worst possible start

Chelsea could not have got off to a worse start with dangerman Matias Soule taking advantage of a loose headed clearance at the back post. He still had a lot of work to do but the tricky winger managed to manoeuvre his way into the box, finishing expertly at the keeper’s near post with just 55 seconds on the clock.

We reacted well, managing to settle the game down after a short frantic period following the goal. We created our first chance of the game from a corner, with Xavier Simons putting pressure in the box after a Charlie Webster delivery, but Juventus did well to clear.

After the first five minutes of the game, the Old Lady took control of the game, having the ball in better areas than our boys and putting our defence under immense pressure.

Nicolo Turco, who had come in for the injured Gabriele Mulazzi, isolated his opponent and with a curled effort beat Lucas Bergstrom but luckily for us also beat the post.

From bad to worse 

Despite the slow start, Myers would have been pleased that after 20 minutes we were still in the game and only one goal down. 

Webster threatened and at the end of a nice move involving Rankine he smashed a side-footed effort towards goal. The Juventus shot-stopper got fingertips to it, sending it over.

We reinforced our new-found belief as Andersson, who had been quiet up to this point, beat his man on the left-hand side. With the keeper rushing out to him he cut the ball back well to Haigh who smashed goalwards. An excellent goal-line clearance prevented us from levelling.

Having just found our feet in the game, Juventus countered and striker Ange Chibozo beat two men as he jinked into the box and his chipped effort over Bergstrom smashed the crossbar. The rebound fell to Turco, who was having a great game, and a fake shot from him led Lewis Hall to leave out a leg which resulted in a penalty.

Fabio Miretti stepped up and dispatched it despite Bergstrom going the right way. 2-0 down and a mountain to climb for our young Blues after just 31 minutes.

Tough half

Again, we showed good fight in response to a goal, keeping possession and moving it from side to side, but the difficulty was breaking down this resolute Juventus side.

With the half ending and despite possession in good areas, Juve sprung another counter, stealing the ball in the middle of the park and it was that man Soule again at the heart of the attack. He played an inch-perfect pass to Chibozo, who laid it across goal for Turco to tap in and get his second of the game. It had been a tough first half as we went in three-nil down.

We started the second half with great intensity and undoubtedly created our best moment of the game. Rankine floated a delightful left-footed cross towards the far post which found the head of second-half substitute Harvey Vale, but his effort went agonsingly wide of the far post.

Soon after we created another good opportunity as Webster won the ball in the middle of the park and played an incisive ball into Haigh, but he could not quite gather the ball in his path and he rushed his left-footed shot, which went over.

We pushed to try and eat into the scoreline. Captain Simons had a long-range effort which the keeper saved well. It was clear the intentions of Juve: sit back, soak the pressure and counter if the opportunity arose.

Nothing to lose

Two chances in quick succession fell our way again as Vale after some good work on the left had a shot blocked, and Haigh with a diving header seconds after forced the keeper into a quality save.

The game went through a lull period as our young Blues were dominating the ball, but Juve were content with sitting deep and inviting on the pressure, dealing with everything that came their way.

This plan seemed to have worked to till a minute from 90 as Haigh pounced on a loose ball into the box to give us a goal that we deserved for our pressure and hard work.

The game ended with an identical scoreline to the the reverse fixture, 3-1 to the Old Lady. We were left to rue the mistakes made in the first half which gave us a mountain to climb.

This now means that our young Blues must avoid defeat against Zenit to ensure their passage into the next round. Juventus with a game to spare are confirmed as group winners after a professional performance at Cobham.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Lucas Bergstrom; Richard Olise, Brodie Hughes, Alfie Gilchrist, Lewis Hall; Xavier Simons (c), Charlie Webster; Edwin Andersson (Harvey Vale 45), Joe Haigh, Dion Rankine; Bryan Fiabema (Jude Soonsup-Bell 45). 
Unused Subs: Prince Adegoke, Leo Castledine, Luke Badley-Morgan, Joshua Tobin, Jayden Wareham.
Scorers: Joe Haigh 89

Juventus (4-4-2): Zsombor Senko; Nocolo Savona, Felix Nzouango, Filippo Fiumano (Alessandro Citi 76), Riccardo Turricchia (Lorenzo Dellavalle 68); Samuel Illing-Junior, Fabio Miretti, Ervin Ormic (c), Matias Soule (Andrea Bonetti 76), Ange Chibozo (Tommaso Maressa 76), Nicolo Turco (Leonardo Cerri 82).
Unused Subs: Simone Scaglia, Samuel Mbangula.
Booked: Nicolo Turco 70.
Scorers: Matias Soule 1, Fabio Miretti 31 (pen), Nicolo Turco 44.

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