Champions League: Juventus vs Chelsea 29/9/21 – Full Match Report

A narrow defeat in Turin sees Chelsea lose back-to-back games for just the second time under Tuchel’s reign.


Pre-game:

After losing to Manchester City on the weekend, Chelsea looked to regain momentum by powering past Juventus in their second game of the Champions League group stage.


Despite starting the season in encouraging form, Thomas Tuchel’s side have failed to see victory in either of their two games prior. Juventus – who began their campaign in the opposite form to the Blues – are currently sat mid-table in Serie A after losing two of their opening three games.


However, Chelsea entered the game with history running against them. The London club have only won one of their previous 11 trips to Italy which came against Lazio in 2003.


Heading into the game, Thomas Tuchel made three changes to the starting eleven that lost to Manchester City on the weekend. The alterations saw Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz return to the starting line-up in the place of Timo Werner, Reece James, and N’Golo Kanté.


Both James and Kanté were absent from the squad entirely due to respective injuries and illnesses.

Massimiliano Allegri on the other hand made two changes to the team won in Sweden on Matchday 1, with both Álvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala the absent pair.


First half:

Looking to respond their weekend defeat, there was a positive start to the game for Chelsea. Hakim Ziyech looked lively from the opening whistle but was also involved in a succession of early fouls.


On the 6th minute, a set-piece taken from the training ground saw Romelu Lukaku have an attempt on goal. However, the attempt lacked power and was comfortably saved by Wojciech Szczęsny.


Just a minute later, a stray pass from Jorginho was close to giving the hosts a breakaway and an opportunity to find the opener. However, a superb challenge from Mateo Kovačić saw Chelsea shut down the move.


On the 15th minute, Adrien Rabiot’s interception saw the Frenchman launch himself into a two-on-one situation with Chelsea depleted at the back. However, a poor pass from Rabiot killed the move entirely.


Although the Old Lady looked to carry a threat within their counterattacks, it was Tuchel’s side that looked to have a firm grip on the game early on. The London club were in no hurry to break down the Italians, and instead decided to wait for the right moment to pounce.


The longer the first half went on, the more the Italians grew into the game.


Shots from both Federico Chiesa and Adrien Rabiot ignited the home crowd, with Juventus suddenly working their way into the game. The hosts had now found their feet – shaping for a competitive second half at the Allianz Stadium.


Second half:

Regardless of what either manager said to their teams during the break, their game plans were to immediately change after just 11 seconds of the second half.


The visitors were caught napping after Chiesa’s blindsided run was found beyond the Chelsea backline, with the Italian punishing the Blues with an exquisite finish past Mendy.

Now trailing, Chelsea was in an extremely difficult position to bounce back against a side that is defined by their defensive abilities.


In almost a replica situation of Saturday’s game, the Blues were now forced on the front foot in order to edge their way back into the match.


Despite Thomas Tuchel being forced into making four substitutions inside 62 minutes, the Blues still lacked the creativity to break Juventus down.


Heading into the final 20 minutes of the game, the best chance of the second half fell to Federico Bernardeschi – who failed to capitalise from point-blank range.


Alongside a range of blocked shots, there was later notable chances for Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian striker saw his first header fall wide, with his second being a shot hit over the crossbar. The latter of the two was the better opportunity with the Chelsea striker expected to do better in a game of fine margins.


The final minutes of the game, Champions League winner Kai Havertz had two chances to score with two headers. The second of the two – which resulted in being the final opportunity of the game – narrowly glided over the crossbar to Chelsea’s frustration.


The final whistle blew immediately after Havertz’ miss, with Juventus picking up all three points against the European Champions.

After the whistle:

With Chelsea now winless in their last three games, Thomas Tuchel has suddenly seen a drop in form from a squad that looked almost untouchable following their 3-0 victory against Tottenham.


The Blues have looked lacklustre and short of creativity moving forward, accumulating just one shot on target in 180 minutes against Manchester City and Juventus.


The Old Lady did an excellent job in holding off the Blues and Romelu Lukaku, who was kept quiet by a Leonardo Bonnuci-inspired defence.

After now winning three games in a row in all competitions, Juventus will look to continue their good form against rivals Torino on Saturday.


For Tuchel’s Chelsea, they face Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday in their attempt of rediscovering momentum before next week’s international break.


Final score:

Juventus 1-0 Chelsea.

- Chiesa (46’).


BBC Sports Player of the match:

Kai Havertz (Chelsea).


Line-ups:

Juventus (4-3-3): Szczęsny; Danilo, Bonucci ©, de Ligt, Sandro; Bentancur (83’), Locatelli, Rabiot (77’); Cuadrado, Bernardsechi (66’), Chiesa (77’).

- Subs: Kulusevski (66’), McKennie (77’), Kean (77’), Chiellini (83’).


Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Christensen (75’), Silva, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta © (62’), Jorginho (62’), Kovačić, Alonso (45’); Havertz, Ziyech (62’); Lukaku.

- Subs: Chilwell (62’), Chalobah (62’), Hudson-Odoi (62’), Loftus-Cheek (62’), Barkley (75’).


Referee:

Jesús Gil Manzano.


Possession:

Juventus (27%) vs Chelsea (73%).


Shots:

Juventus (6) vs Chelsea (16).


Shots on target:

Juventus (1) vs Chelsea (1).


Corners:

Juventus (1) vs Chelsea (8).


Fouls:

Juventus (8) vs Chelsea (18).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match highlights:

- (credit | BT Sport).

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Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


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