Italian champions Juventus hadn’t read the script and ended up as the villains of the piece, as the Old Lady took home a 2-2 draw from Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge in the Champions League.
It looked like for so long that Brazilian youngster Oscar was set to collect the award for best newcomer, scoring two a brace on his full Chelsea debut.
In truth though, the Bianconeri deserved to take something back home with them and substitute Fabio Quagliarella’s goal ensured they took home a point.
This Champions League encounter was pulsating. Sometimes early group games can produce boring, cautious football. However, as we have seen over the last few night’s teams now seem more willing to go for three points from the off.
Last night’s game at Stamford Bridge was end to end. Chelsea never looked comfortably against their excellent Italian visitors, who never looked like they were out of the game even at two goals down.
The quality of the defending in affair wasn’t the best, but we don’t watch football for the defending, do we? We watch the game for the excitement of goals and attacking football.
To their credit Juve never really sat back in the stereotypical way Italian teams have done in the past. Head coach Antonio Conte prefers his teams to play attacking football and that certainly showed in this performance.
I think it’s fair to say that the first 30 minutes of young Oscar’s full-debut could be described as quiet. He had a few neat touches, but nothing solid to speak of. The next few minutes though were outstanding.
First he struck an effort that took a deflection and beat Gigi Buffon in then Juve goal. Barely two minutes later and Oscar was at it again, this time producing a superb turn which fooled two Juventus defenders and curling a superb effort past Buffon from just outside the area.
From that moment on we saw a different Oscar. Before the goals he was hardly in the game, after them he just always seemed to want the ball. The goals had obviously filled him with confidence and the youngster looks like a confidence player.
The 21 year-old may have arrived at Stamford Bridge with a big reputation and price tag, but he is still only young and is settling into a whole new football culture. If Chelsea nurtures him properly then he has all the attributes to be a major star for the Blues.
This game was never going to be easy for the European champions. Juventus are unbeaten in a very long time in domestic football and are a dangerous team. You can see why they are so hard to beat.
They could be a good outside bet for the Champions League trophy this season. Although their defending will have to improve, going forward they looked like they could cause a lot of people problems in this competition.
I just think they are maybe lacking a top quality striker. Montenegrin striker Mirko Vucinic must have Juve fans tearing their hair out. One game he can be outstanding and the next he can anonymous. He led the line well against Chelsea though.
Juve tried to bring in a big name striker over the summer and failed. The best the Bianconeri could do was unwanted Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, who isn’t exactly considered world-class by anybody, but himself that is. If only his talent was as big as his ego, then he would be right up there with Messi and Ronaldo.
Chelsea will be disappointed that they have drawn this game, having held a two-goal lead. However, I don’t think they should be too concerned about the result. Juve may have had a short Hiatus from the Champions League but they are no pushovers.
The group is a tough one with Ukrainian dark horses Shakhtar Donetsk also hoping to qualify for the knockout stages. I have a feeling that that Chelsea, Shakhtar and Juve will all take points from each other in the group, with Danish champions Nordsjaelland as the group whipping boys.
The European champions may look at this as two points dropped at the moment, but at the end of this group this point could be a massive one. The group will be tight and there are still more up and downs than a rollercoaster to come in this group. Hold on to your hats Chelsea fans it could be a bumpy ride!
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