Chelsea fell to their second defeat in as many games as they went down 1-0 away to Juventus. Federico Chiesa scored the only goal of the game for the Italian giants as they made it two wins out of two in Group H.
Thomas Tuchel made three changes from the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at the weekend. Thiago Silva came in for the injured Reece James in defence, having replaced the full-back in the City defeat. Meanwhile, in attack for Chelsea, Timo Werner and N’Golo Kante both made way for Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz. Werner had to settle for a place on the bench while Kante was isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.
After playing a 3-5-2 formation on Saturday, Tuchel returned to his usual 3-4-3 system that the squad had been used to. Edouard Mendy started in between the sticks with Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger in the back three. The midfield four involved captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho and Marcos Alonso. Finally, Ziyech, Havertz and Romelu Lukaku completed the eleven as the front three.
Meanwhile, for Juventus, Massimiliano Allegri made three changes from Sunday’s win over Sampdoria. Forwards Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala were out through injury as Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi moved into the attack. Wojciech Szczesny was back in between the sticks in place of Mattia Perin with the other two changes seeing Adrien Rabiot and Danilo come into the starting eleven.
The first opportunity of the night fell to the away side on three minutes. Jorginho cushioned the ball down to Mateo Kovacic but the Croatian’s effort was comfortable for Wojcjech Szcznesny. A few minutes later and the Blues again came close to breaking the deadlock. Marcos Alonso caught out the Juventus defence as he played the corner straight to Romelu Lukaku but the Belgian’s attempt was easy for the goalkeeper.
Chelsea started the game on the front foot and looked the more threatening going forward. However, they hadn’t done much in the first 15 minutes to threaten Szcznesny. Meanwhile, up the other end, Juventus had the best chance of the match on 20 minutes. Federico Chiesa intercepted possession off Kovacic as the forward broke away on goal but his shot drifted wide. An example of the threat Juve were able to provide in front of goal.
Just over midway through the first half, the home side again threatened in front of goal. Federico Bernardeschi fed the ball into Chiesa’s path but his effort was well defended by Antonio Rudiger. The Old Lady once again came close as Adrien Rabiot’s curling effort was just off-target on the half-hour mark.
As the first half progressed, neither side had been as threatening in front of goal but it was Juventus that had looked the better of the two sides. However, just before the break, Marcos Alonso delivered in the corner to Thiago Silva as his shot was blocked by Matthijs de Ligt. Nor Chelsea nor Juventus were able to make the all-important breakthrough in the first 45 with the score goalless at half-time.
HT: Juventus 0-0 Chelsea
Prior to the start of the second half, Tuchel made a change as Ben Chilwell came on in place of Alonso. With just 11 seconds after the restart though and Juventus made the perfect start as they broke the deadlock. Bernardeschi slid the ball through to Chiesa as the Italian international slotted into the roof of the net. A dreadful way for the Blues to start the second period as the home side were now 1-0 in front.
The away side almost levelled the match up at 1-1 in the 52nd minute. Kai Havertz attempted the play the ball to Ziyech though his pass was almost put into his own net by Manuel Locatelli. However, Locatelli’s blushes were sparred as the ball drifted wide.
With a little over an hour played in Turin, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah were all introduced by Tuchel in the hope of getting back into the game. However, not long after, Juventus had a glorious opportunity to double their advantage. The ball was lofted wide to Cuadrado, who squared the ball to Bernardeschi but the forward missed the target from close range.
As the game headed into the final 15 minutes, the Blues had a big chance to get level. Substitute Hudson-Odoi crossed into the path of Lukaku but his header was wide. In the 82nd minute, Chelsea were again close to scoring. Ross Barkley slid the ball into Lukaku as the Belgian’s shot was over the bar. A big let off for the Old Lady.
Tuchel’s men continued to go in search of an equaliser but Hudson-Odoi’s cross was headed wide by Havertz which very much summed up their night in front of goal. In the dying seconds of the match though, Chelsea almost grabbed a late goal as Chilwell’s corner was headed inches over by Havertz. In the end, Juventus held on as they came away with the three points against the Blues.
FT: Juventus 1-0 Chelsea
Juventus: Szczesny (GK), 6. Danilo, 19. Bonucci, 4. De Ligt, 12. Alex Sandro; 11. Cuadrado, 30. Bentancur, 27. Locatelli, 25. Rabiot; 20. Bernardeschi, 22. Chiesa
Substitutes: 23. Pinsoglio (GK), 36. Perin (GK), 2. De Sciglio, 3. Chiellini, 14. McKennie, 18. Kean, 24. Rugani, 44. Kulusevski
Subbed on: Kulusevski (for Bernardeschi, 66 mins), McKennie for Rabiot, 77 mins), Kean (for Chiesa, 77 mins), Chiellini (for Bentancur, 83 mins)
Goals: Chiesa (46 mins)
Chelsea: 16. Mendy (GK), 4. Christensen, 6. Thiago Silva, 2. Rudiger; 28. Azpilicueta (capt), 5. Jorginho, 8. Kovacic, 3. Alonso; 22. Ziyech, 9. Lukaku, 29. Havertz
Substitutes: 1. Kepa (GK), 13. Bettinelli (GK), 11. Werner, 12. Loftus-Cheek, 14. Chalobah, 17. Saul, 18. Barkley, 20. Hudson-Odoi, 21. Chilwell, 31. Sarr
Subbed on: Chilwell (for Alonso, 46 mins), Hudson-Odoi (for Ziyech, 62 mins), Loftus-Cheek (for Azpilicueta (62 mins), Hudson-Odoi, Chalobah (for Jorginho, 62 mins), Barkley (for Christensen, 75 mins)
Written and Edited by Matt North (@MattNorth_)