Federico Chiesa stunned Chelsea at the start of the second half and earned Juventus a 1-0 victory in Wednesday’s Champions League Group H clash.
Chelsea failed to make their dominance of the ball count in the opening period and just 10 seconds after the restart Chiesa fired Juve in front at the Allianz Stadium.
The reigning champions continued to labour when going forward and a trio of substitutions just after the hour mark failed to spark them into life.
Juve were comfortable in seeing out a victory that handed their hopes of going into the last-16 as group winners a significant boost.
Chelsea exposed themselves to counter-attacks by giving the ball away – Chiesa flashing an effort narrowly wide after seizing upon a stray pass from Mateo Kovacic and surging forward in the 20th minute.
Despite controlling possession for the entire opening period, the Blues got no joy from focusing their attacks through the middle of the pitch.
Juve made an explosive start to the second half, with Chiesa’s thumping effort deflecting slightly off Antonio Rudiger before beating Edouard Mendy.
45:10 – Federico Chiesa has given Juventus the lead just 10 seconds into the second half against Chelsea, the earliest second half goal Opta have on record in a Champions League match (since 2003-04). Sleeping. pic.twitter.com/Gdbalsift5
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 29, 2021
Tuchel sent on Callum Hudson-Odoi, Trevoh Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Chelsea would have fallen further behind in the 64th minute had Federico Bernardeschi managed to turn Juan Cuadrado’s cushioned pass on target from six yards out.
Chelsea switched to a four-man defence and continued to push for a goal, but Romelu Lukaku failed to take their best chance under pressure from Leonardo Bonucci.
A late appeal for handball from the visitors was deemed insufficient for a penalty by the VAR and Kai Havertz sent a stoppage-time header over as Juve went three points clear at the top of the group.
What does it mean? Italy unkind to Chelsea again
Chelsea do not appear to enjoy travelling to Italy in the Champions League. Their past five matches on Italian soil in the competition have ended in defeats – a run that stretches back to 2009-10.
Their loss to Juve means the Bianconeri have now defeated the European Cup/Champions League title-holders on seven separate occasions – only Real Madrid (11) have managed more wins.
Chiesa unlocks the defence
Chelsea were caught sleeping after the interval and Chiesa’s strike became the earliest second-half goal in Opta’s Champions League records.
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