Juventus vs Chelsea. UEFA Champions League Group H.
Champions League report as Chelsea slip to defeat in Turin; Federico Chiesa proved the difference as Thomas Tuchel's team put in another flat attacking showing
Thursday 30 September 2021 07:00, UK
Federico Chiesa's goal 10 seconds into the second half sent Juventus to a 1-0 Champions League win over Chelsea, who have now suffered back-to-back defeats.
After a low-key opening 45 minutes, the snappy Chiesa fired the Italians in front with one of the first kicks of the second half.
Chelsea continued to dominate possession, registering 73 per cent of the ball, but struggled to create a killer chance, posting just one effort on target.
The one big Chelsea opening came and went late on as Romelu Lukaku fired wide after Chelsea finally provided him some fruitful service.
Juve held on to continue a fine start to their Champions League campaign under returning coach Massimiliano Allegri as they sit top on six points from two games, while Chelsea stay second on three points.
Juventus: Szczesny (7), De Ligt (8), Bonucci (8), Danilo (7), Alex Sandro (7), Rabiot (6), Cuadrado (7), Bernardeschi (7), Locatelli (7), Bentancur (6), Chiesa (9)
Subs used: Kean (7), Kulusevski (6), Chiellini (7)
Chelsea:Mendy (6), Azpilicueta (6), Silva (7), Christensen (7), Rudiger (6), Alonso (6), Jorginho (6), Kovacic (6), Havertz (5), Ziyech (5), Lukaku (6)
Subs used:Hudson-Odoi (6), Loftus-Cheek (6), Chalobah (6), Barkley (6)
Man of the match: Federico Chiesa
Juventus have made a sticky start domestically, winning their first Serie A game of the season at the fifth attempt at the weekend, beating Spezia 3-2. It's not been the start Massimiliano Allegri would have envisaged on his second stint as boss and his team looked nervous in front of an edgy home crowd in the early stages.
Thomas Tuchel will have been looking for a reaction following their underwhelming performance when Manchester City visited Stamford Bridge on Saturday. His team started in confident fashion with the ball and Lukaku flashed a shot straight at Wojciech Szczęsny after a well-worked corner.
But that was to be Chelsea's only shot at goal for the next 39 minutes as Juventus slowly got to grips with a tactical encounter revolved around key battles in midfield.
Chiesa sparked the game into life whenever he received the ball in space and he raced into the box on 19 minutes but flashed his finish across goal.
Ben Chilwell joined the fray after the break, but Tuchel's half-time instructions were still ringing in Chelsea ears when Chiesa rifled the ball into the net following a clever pass from Federico Bernardeschi.
The Blues settled down after conceding and started pinning Juve into their own half without ever finding a truly clinical final ball.
Jorginho, Hakim Ziyech and captain Cesar Azpilicueta were all hooked, in favour of Trevoh Chalobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi in a bid to find a spark.
However, it was Juventus that came the closest when Bernardeschi should have put the game out of sight only to bundle a chance wide in a rare Juve counter-attack that was started by a fantastic pass from Adrien Rabiot.
Ross Barkley was thrown into the mix as well with time ticking down and created Chelsea's best chance of the match with seven minutes left.
The 27-year-old threaded a fine ball through for Lukaku, only for the striker, who was supremely well marshalled all night, to shank a poor finish wide of the post.
There was still time for one last chance when Havertz rose to head a Chilwell over the bar from no more than 10 yards out. It was another Chelsea effort on goal failing to test an opposition goalkeeper meaning just one of their shots over the last 180 minutes of football has found the target.
His winning goal was expertly taken but his all-around impact on the way Juventus forced Chelsea back at key times was the real standout aspect of his performance. Whenever he got the ball he injected life into Juventus.
Popping up on the left, right and through the middle, he revelled in the freedom afforded to him by his manager and he led every Juventus counter-attack. His style is very Luis Suarez-like and he's on the way to matching Suarez-like levels of performance based on this game.
Thomas Tuchel told BT Sport: "I think we started not sharp enough. We struggled to create our own rhythm and intensity because they were so deep and passive. We were lacking runs. We were so good in training yesterday and not good enough, not free enough today. I don't know why.
"I felt we were a bit slow and tired, mentally slow, decision-making. That's why it's a strange one to analyse.
"A shooting problem. If we don't shoot, they cannot be on target. If you play against a deep block like today, it's hard to take shots. We found the spaces, it wasn't easy. We had a lot of shots, but I think there are some chances late in the game where it wouldn't have been so hard to find the target. I was liking the aggression we had yesterday."
Massimiliano Allegri said: "Sailors always find the way out of a storm. Tonight was a good game against the European champions.
"Technically we could have played better but we suffered a bit and we missed a couple of counter-attacks. Two games, six points, zero goals conceded, another step towards qualification, a good step forward."
Sky Sports' Lewis Jones:
"Romelu Lukaku was supposed to be the missing piece in the Chelsea jigsaw - and he probably still is.
"However, what many people didn't foresee coming was the service into the striker dropping in quality. For the second game running, Thomas Tuchel's side carried little threat in the final third despite recording 73 per cent possession against Juventus. Yes, you have to factor in the level of opposition, but in 180 minutes against Manchester City and Juve, Chelsea have registered just one shot on target. It's far too early for alarm but Tuchel needs to find a solution. From a high proportion of their 37 crosses in the match, Chelsea found the head of a Juventus defender - more often than not Leonardo Bonucci's.
"Chelsea are blessed with players that should be in their element playing off a striker like Lukaku. Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech were the two chosen to provide the ammunition for Chelsea in Juventus but both played without spark or guile. Both failed to create a single chance for a team-mate. Ziyech was hooked on 60 minutes and Havertz seemed more comfortable playing alongside Lukaku for the final stages when Chelsea created their two best chances of the match. Lukaku fired wide and Havertz headed over the bar.
"The answer could be Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who confidently moved the ball in zippy fashion in another good cameo. However, he has flattered to deceive for years now after threatening signs of promise. Or perhaps Ross Barkley, who set up the late chance for Lukaku, can show Tuchel his best form?
"Tuchel's selection in behind Lukaku for the clash with Southampton on Saturday will be a tricky one for the boss. He needs to get his decision making right regarding his decision makers in the final third."
Chelsea are back at Stamford Bridge on Saturday for a 3pm clash with Southampton in the Premier League. Next up in the Champions League for them is Malmo on October 20.