Turin, Chelsea’s disappointing week got a whole lot worse on Wednesday evening, as Federico Chiesa scored the winning goal for Juventus in a 1-0 victory against the UEFA Champions League holders at the Allianz Stadium.
Following Chelsea’s dismal display in the 1-0 loss to Manchester City last Saturday, Thomas Tuchel spoke of a need to improve ahead of Wednesday’s European clash, and in truth his team did respond.
It was a bizarre evening where Juventus sacrificed all control of the ball, relying on their defensive quality to stifle Chelsea whilst the Blues created more chances than their opponents but ultimately fell short.
The first half lacked quality although Romelu Lukaku forced an outstanding save out of Wojciech Szczesny from close range.
Hakim Ziyech’s close control put Juventus’ defence on the backfoot as Chelsea held 71 percent possession after the opening half hour.
The Bianconeri’s breakthrough came just one minute after half-time, catching Chelsea cold, and it was Chiesa who found himself with space inside the penalty area, powering a finish into the top corner past Edouard Mendy.
Federico Bernardeschi could have doubled Juventus’ lead 10 minutes later but flashed a shot wide of the right-hand post.
There was a dramatic climax to the match in the 87th minute, when Chelsea had a penalty shout checked by VAR.
Danilo appeared to misjudge the ball and accidentally handled it, leading to shouts of handball, but VAR determined that there would be no spot-kick for the Blues.
Zenit’s 4-0 victory over Malmo earlier in the day saw the Russian club draw level on three points with Tuchel’s charges although the German coach will likely now feel some relief at having back-to-back games against the Swedish club.
Juventus top the group with a perfect six points and two clean sheets although Massimiliano Allegri will be concerned at the lack of attacking impetus his team showed against the defending champions, the Spanish MARCA newspaper reported.
Source: Oman News Agency