Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Juventus 1-0 Chelsea: Major Talking Points as The Old Lady Upset Tuchel’s Defending Champions In Turin

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 29 Sep 2021

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On a night that many thought Chelsea would lay down a Champions League marker on foreign soil, the defending European champions were hit with a shock 1-0 defeat away at a plucky Juventus.

Failing to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of Manchester City last weekend, Thomas Tuchel’s side put in another flat display as they saw Federico Chiesa stun them only 11 seconds after the restart.

With the Chelsea boss cutting a frustrated figure on the touchline throughout, the Premier League giants were largely stifled by a rugged Juventus defence.

With the Old Lady leaving Turin with what will be remembered as an eye-catching 1-0 victory at the Allianz Stadium, we have taken a look at the major talking points.

A Juventus masterclass

While Juventus might have found themselves in the midst of a very public crisis when opening the 2021/22 campaign, the Italian heavyweights have started to show some real signs of life over the past three weeks.

Managing to secure back-to-back 3-2 Serie A wins against Spezia and Sampdoria, returning boss Massimiliano Allegri saw his side put in what was certainly a season-best display on Wednesday night.

Backed by a vocal home support, despite having under 20,000 fans in attendance at the Allianz Stadium, the Old Lady deserve a host of praise as they managed to overcome a bright start from the defending European champions.

Despite seeing both Alvaro Morata and Pablo Dybala ruled out of their midweek showdown after picking up knocks last weekend, Allegri put on a tactical masterclass as he partnered Federico Chiesa alongside surprise pick Federico Bernardeschi.

Catching Chelsea cold only 11 seconds after returning for the second-half, Chiesa finished clinically past Edouard Mendy and sent the home support into overdrive.

Staying firm at the back and led by Italy’s summer hero Leonardo Bonucci, Allegri would have been hugely excited to finally see his side record a much-welcomed clean sheet.

Despite Allegri’s whole starting XI only mustering seven goals between them since opening the 2021/22 campaign, Juventus showed no signs of a side that is meant to be in the midst of a transition.

Tuchel’s week to forget

While Chelsea might have made the trip over to Turin on Wednesday night with many believing that they would make it back-to-back Champions League victories, the Blues only showed the same issues that haunted them last weekend.

Knowing that they missed out on a golden chance when they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Manchester City in the capital four days ago, Thomas Tuchel’s side once again put in another flat display at the Allianz Stadium.

Cutting an animated figure in his technical area and clearly far from pleased by his side’s display, the former PSG boss finds himself in arguably his toughest period since taking charge at Stamford Bridge.

Electing to not name a single British player in his starting XI for the first time since joining the English giants back in January, Chelsea all of a sudden appear to have gone off the boil.

Despite many feeling that the Blues could potentially mount a famous double-winning campaign this season, they now have the feel of a side that is really seeking some kind of boost.

With Tuchel now being out-thought by both Allegri and Guardiola in the space of a few days, Chelsea clearly missed midfielder N’Golo Kante as he was ruled out after returning a positive COVID-19 test.

Chelsea’s attacking issues

Failing to find any way past Manchester City last weekend and not returning a single shot on goal for the first time in Tuchel’s reign, there is no doubt that their German boss will be having a real headache over his side’s attacking issues.

Admitting earlier in the week that both Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech were struggling with their confidence, the Blues once again put in another toothless display in Turin.

With Romelu Lukaku missing a pair of golden chances in the second-half, despite being largely anonymous in the final third, their returning Belgian star was given a real lesson by the experienced Bonucci.

Also having to watch on as Havertz blazed his close-range header over the bar in the dying seconds, Chelsea were crying out for someone to pull the strings between the lines.

However, with Mason Mount missing out due to an injury issue, it almost feels that Tuchel is still not sure on what attacking trio is his first choice.

Remarkably, including their 1-0 loss at Stamford Bridge four days ago, Wednesday’s guests have now managed to record just a single shot on target in 180 minutes of action.

Match Report:

Juventus: Szczesny (7), Danilo (7.5), Bonucci (9), De Ligt (8.5), Lobo Silva (7), Bentancur (7.5), Locatelli (8), Rabiot (7.5), Chiesa (8.5), Bernardeschi (7), Cuadrado (7)

Subs: Chiellini (7), McKennie (7), Kulusevski (7.5), Kean (7.5)

Chelsea: Mendy (6), Christensen (6.5), Thiago Silva (6), Rüdiger (6), Azpilicueta (5), Jorginho (4), Kovacic (3), Alonso (3), Ziyech (3), Havertz (3), Lukaku (3)

Subs: Barkley (4), Loftus-Cheek (5), Chalobah (4.5), Chilwell (4), Hudson-Odoi (7)

Goals: Chiesa 46′

Yellow Cards: Juventus: Cuadrado – Chelsea: Rüdiger, Alonso, Ziyech

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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