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Chiesa strikes as champions Chelsea falter against Juventus

Chelsea winless in Italy for 18 years, lose first Champions League away match in 10 attempts.

Italian forward Federico Chiesa struck the winner for Juventus in their slender 1-0 win at home to Chelsea in their UEFA Champions League Matchday two encounter at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.

Having each won their opening match against the group’s ‘weaker sides’ Zenit St Petersburg and Malmo, champions Chelsea and Juventus faced off in the first true heavyweight clash of the group with top spot at stake after Zenit thrashed Malmo 4-0 in the other match.

Chelsea came into the match on the back of a disappointing performance and defeat in the league against Manchester City in the league, and quickly set to work against Juventus. They dominated possession from the first blast of the whistle while Juventus sat deep and looked to hit them on the counter.

Chelsea registered the game’s first shot on target in the early exchanges as Romelu Lukaku headed a corner from Marcos Alonso straight at Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Chelsea continued to dominate possession while Juventus were happy to play the waiting game and break through Italian forwards Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi, as well as former Chelsea man Juan Cuadrado. They almost found joy on a number of occasions, but Chelsea were able to get bodies back to defend and prevent Juventus from getting a clear sight of goal until the end of the first half.

Juventus came flying out of the dressing room for the second half and scored only ten seconds into the second half through Chiesa. A long ball was pumped forward by captain Leonardo Bonucci straight after kickoff, and Adrien Rabiot won the header. The header from Rabiot turned out to be a cushioned pass to Bernardeschi, who played a pass to the blind side of Thiago Silva for the run of Chiesa, who smashed a first-time finish with his left foot into the top corner.

Chelsea seemed spurred by the Juventus goal and increased their urgency and intensity but failed to test Szczesny in the Juventus goal. The best chances of the half fell to Chelsea after they went behind, with Lukaku heading a cross from Hudson-Odoi wide of the target, and Kai Havertz heading one over the crossbar.

Chelsea’s most significant chance fell to their record signing Lukaku, but the Belgian failed to make the most of it for once. A through ball from Ross Barkley saw Lukaku pin his marker down and turn to reach the ball in the box before skewing his effort wide of the upright when it seemed easier to score.

Havertz would go on to miss another header from a Ben Chilwell corner, sending his effort narrowly over the bar with virtually the last kick of the game as Juventus held on for a hard-fought 1-0 win over Chelsea at home.

Chelsea’s away struggles against Italian sides has continued, with their last away win against an Italian side coming against Lazio in 2003. The Blues have now lost their first UEFA Champions League away match since losing to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in 2020, ending a run of ten away matches without defeat.

Having won their opening match against Zenit, Chelsea will now turn their preparation towards the domestic scene as they would look to bounce back from successive defeats against Manchester City and Juventus.

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