Chelsea had a strong opening ten minutes, but that initial impetus quickly subsided thanks to a nigh impenetrable wall of Juventus defenders and midfielders. Of course, it didn’t help that our passing was slow and uninspired, and our movement even worse. Chelsea’s only chance of note in the first 45 was a corner routine, with Alonso finding Lukaku on an end-around run, but his low left-footed shot lacked the power or accuracy to beat Szczesny.
At the other end, Juve’s passing wasn’t exactly stellar either, but they had a couple very good opportunities on the counter. Chiesa missed by inches while Kovacic stuck a timely toe in once as well.
The second half was more of the same, with the exception of the first 11 seconds, when Juve caught Chelsea napping from the kick-off, winning a header out wide, finding Bernardeschi, who found Chiesa cutting across the penalty area with a great through ball. Chiesa had Rudiger in close attention, but was able to elevate his shot to clear the block attempt from the defender, as well as the outrushing Mendy. Great finish, that, and the only moment of telling quality to that point.
And in fact, it would prove the only moment of telling quality in the game, as Chelsea huffed and puffed but could do little to blow Juve’s house down. Lukaku came closest to scoring, but his Chiesa-esque shot was just a bit higher than the Juve man’s, and thus went over the crossbar rather than into the roof of the net.
Chelsea kept trying to ratchet up the pressure and had a couple decent chances towards the end to equalize, but Juve saw out their clean sheet with expected aplomb.
1-0, not us.
- As expected, back to the 3-4-3, though with Ziyech getting a runout alongside Lukaku and Havertz. Jovacic in the middle, Azpi & Alonso on the flanks, strongest back three.
- Chilwell for Alonso at half time. Alonso was on a yellow as well.
- Triple change at the hour-mark, with CHO, RLC, Chalobah on for Azpi, Ziyech, and Jorginho. 3-5-2 with Lukaku and Havertz up top, Chilwell and CHO wide. Essentially a 3-3-4.
- Barkley on for Christensen as the final change, with Chalobah dropping into the back-three and Barkley playing in advanced midfield.
- In the other game, Zenit easily dispatched Malmo, 4-0. Chelsea second in the group at the moment thanks to our win over Zenit.
- Next up: Southampton at home on Saturday, then international break