Juventus 1-0 Chelsea: Federico Chiesa catches Blues cold to put Juve in control of 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

Juventus' Federico Chiesa celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League, Group H match at Allianz Stadium, Turin. Picture date: Wednesday September 29, 2021
Image: Juventus' Federico Chiesa scored just after half-time

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.

Player ratings

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

How Chelsea fell flat in Turin...

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.

Champions League Group H
Image: Champions League Group H

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.

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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.

Team news

  • There was no Giorgio Chiellini for Juventus, who named a couple of surprises in their starting XI. Federico Bernardeschi got the nod in attack up against Chelsea’s three central defenders. And, with Chiellini only on the bench, Matthijs de partnered Leonardo Bonucci.
  • Thomas Tuchel made two changes from the defeat to Manchester City with Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz returning to the fold. N’Golo Kante tested positive for Covid-19 so is isolating whilst Reece James dropped out meaning Cesar Azpilicueta played down the right. Mason Mount remained on the sidelines with injury and as Ben Chilwell and James were left out, Tuchel fielded a team with no British players.

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.

Man of the match: Federico Chiesa

Juventus' Federico Chiesa celebrates his goal against Chelsea
Image: Juventus' Federico Chiesa celebrates his goal against Chelsea

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.

What the managers said

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."

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel believes his side lacked aggression and needed to shoot more in their 1-0 defeat to Juventus in the Champions League.

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."

Analysis: No time to panic but Chelsea lacking guile

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?

TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 29: during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Juventus and Chelsea FC at  on September 29, 2021 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images,)
Image: Ross Barkley was given an opportunity to impress in the Champions League

"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."

Opta stats

  • Chiesa has scored the fastest Juventus' Champions League goal since the beginning of the second half (10 seconds).
  • Chiesa became the first Italian to score in four consecutive UEFA Champions League starts for Juventus since Alessandro Del Piero in November 1997.
  • Juventus did not even make a shot on target in the first half: the last time they had no shots on target in the first 45 minutes in Champions League was October 2020 against Barcelona.
  • Chelsea's defeat ended a run of 12 unbeaten group stage games in the UEFA Champions League since September 2019, when they lost 1-0 against Valencia.

What's next?

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.

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