Big Match Feature: Juventus v Chelsea

After opening Group H wins, Juventus and Chelsea meet in Turin knowing three more points would represent asignificant step towards the round of 16.

While Romelu Lukaku’s second-half goal got Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League defence off to a winning start athome against Zenit, Juve were 3-0 winners away to Swedish side Malmö.

The sides last met in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage, when Juve took four points off Chelsea toplay a crucial role in the London club becoming the first – and so far only – holders to not survive the group stage ofthe following season’s competition.

The Matchday 1 game at Stamford Bridge ended 2-2, Oscar giving Chelsea a two-goal cushion (31, 33) beforeArturo Vidal (38) and Fabio Quagliarella (80) rescued a point for Juve.

Quagliarella (38) and Vidal (61) were also on target in a 3-0 Juventus win in Turin on Matchday 5, SebastianGiovinco (90+1) rounding off a win that prompted the departure of Blues manager Roberto Di Matteo and all buteliminated Chelsea from the competition – although, under Rafael Benítez, they did go on to win the UEFA EuropaLeague.

Chelsea had come out on top when the teams were paired in the 2008/09 round of 16, Didier Drogba scoring theonly goal of the first leg at Stamford Bridge. The Ivorian also scored the crucial second equaliser in the second leg inTurin, a game in which Juventus twice led through Vincenzo Iaquinta (19) and Alessandro Del Piero (74pen) eitherside of Michael Essien’s equaliser in first-half added time.


A team coached by Andrea Pirlo won five of their six games in last season’s group stage, snatching first place inGroup G with a 3-0 victory at Barcelona on Matchday 6.

For the second season running, however, Juventus bowed out on away goals in the round of 16, losing on aggregateto Porto (1-2 a, 3-2 h aet) having suffered the same fate against Lyon in 2019/20 (0-1 a, 2-1 h).

Juventus have lost only five of their 46 European matches at the Juventus Stadium (W29 D12), although four ofthose defeats have come in their last 14.

Juve’s record run of nine successive Serie A titles was ended by Inter in 2020/21.

Pirlo was replaced as Juventus coach in the summer, Massimiliano Allegri returning to the club he led to the 2015and 2017 UEFA Champions League finals during his previous spell in charge between 2014 and 2019.

Juventus last faced English opposition in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League group stage, winning 1-0 atManchester United before a 2-1 home defeat.

That defeat by United ended Juve’s nine-match (W5 D4) unbeaten run against Premier League clubs, with five winsin their last seven. It was also their first home defeat against English opponents since a 3-0 loss to United in the2002/03 UEFA Champions League second group stage; their record between those two losses was W3 D5.


Chelsea claimed their second UEFA Champions League title in 2020/21 by beating Manchester City 1-0 in the all English final at Porto’s Estádio do Dragão on 29 May, Kai Havertz scoring the only goal in the first half – his first strikein the competition.

The Blues had made smooth progress through their section (W4 D2) to finish ahead of Sevilla, Krasnodar andRennes.

With Thomas Tuchel having replaced Frank Lampard as head coach in January, Chelsea then eased past Atléticode Madrid in the round of 16, winning 1-0 in Bucharest before a 2-0 home victory, and held off Porto in the last eight(2-0 a, 0-1 h) with both matches played in Seville. Chelsea then got the better of Real Madrid in the semi-finals (1-1 a,2-0 h) before claiming their second UEFA Champions League title against City.

The Matchday 1 defeat of Zenit made it 13 wins in Chelsea’s last 21 UEFA Champions League matches (D5 L3).

A 4-1 loss at eventual champions Bayern München in the 2019/20 round of 16 second leg is Chelsea’s only reversein their last 17 away European games (W12 D4).

Edouard Mendy kept nine clean sheets in 12 UEFA Champions League matches last season, the most in acampaign by a goalkeeper for an English side in the competition’s history. He added another on Matchday 1 this term.

Fourth in the Premier League in 2020/21 for the second campaign in a row, Chelsea are participating in their 18th UEFA Champions League campaign, and a fourth in five years. The exception came in 2018/19, when they won theUEFA Europa League under Maurizio Sarri.

Tuchel’s team have already claimed European silverware this season, beating Villarreal 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1draw in the UEFA Super Cup in Belfast on 11 August. It was their first victory in the competition since 1998; they hadlost in 2012, 2013 and 2019.

The Blues’ last games against Italian opponents came in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage, whenthey drew 3-3 at home to Roma before a 3-0 away loss that made it four games without a win against Serie A sides(D2 L2).

Chelsea’s record away to Serie A sides is W1 D3 L6. They have lost on their last four trips, with the sole win a 4-0success at Lazio in the 2003/04 group stage.

A 4-1 extra-time success against Napoli in the round of 16 second leg in their victorious 2011/12 UEFA ChampionsLeague campaign is Chelsea’s only win in their last nine games against Italian opponents, home and away (D3 L5).

Links and trivia

Álvaro Morata scored 16 goals in 47 Premier League appearances for Chelsea between August 2017 and January2019.

Juan Cuadrado played in 13 Premier League games for Chelsea in 2015.

Have played in Italy:

Jorginho (Verona 2010–14, Sambonifacese 2010/11 loan, Napoli 2014–18)

Antonio Rüdiger (Roma 2015–17)

Marcos Alonso (Fiorentina 2013–16)

Thiago Silva (AC Milan 2009–12)

Mateo Kovacic (Inter 2013–15)

Romelu Lukaku (Inter 2019–21)

Allegri was Thiago Silva’s coach at Milan between 2010 and 2012, the pair winning Serie A in 2010/11.

Lukaku faced Juventus five times with Inter (W1 D1 L3), scoring one goal, a penalty in a 3-2 defeat on 15 May 2021.

Lukaku was also in the Manchester United side beaten 1-0 at home by Juve in the UEFA Champions League groupstage on 23 October 2018.

Have also played in England:Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal 2006–15, Brentford 2009/10 loan)

Aaron Ramsey (Cardiff 2006–08 & 2011 loan, Arsenal 2008–19, Nottingham Forest 2010/11 loan)

Danilo (Manchester City 2017–19)

Moise Kean (Everton 2019/20)

Have played together:

Wojciech Szczesny & Antonio Rüdiger (Roma 2015–17)

Mattia De Sciglio & Thiago Silva (AC Milan 2011/12)

Federico Bernardeschi & Marcos Alonso (Fiorentina 2014–16)

Adrien Rabiot & Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain 2013–19)

Danilo & Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid 2015–17)

Álvaro Morata & Saúl Ñíguez (Atlético de Madrid 2019–20)

Matthijs de Ligt & Hakim Ziyech (Ajax 2016–19)

International team-mates:

Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Manuel Locatelli, Federico Chiesa, Federico Bernardeschi, Moise Kean &Jorginho (Italy)

Álvaro Morata & Kepa Arrizabalaga, César Azpilicueta, Saúl Ñíguez, Marcos Alonso (Spain)

Arthur, Danilo, Alex Sandro & Thiago Silva (Brazil)

Adrien Rabiot & N’Golo Kanté (Fance)

Weston McKennie & Christian Pulišic (United States)

Jorginho played in all seven games as Italy won UEFA EURO 2020 this summer.

Bonucci, Chiellini, Locatelli, Chiesa and Bernardeschi also played for Italy, who defeated Mason Mount’s England onspot kicks in the final at Wembley. Bonucci scored for Italy in the 1-1 draw and in the penalty shoot-out, whenBernardeschi also found the net.

Chiesa scored in the 1-1 semi-final draw against César Azpilicueta’s Spain. Locatelli missed a penalty in the shootout but Bonucci and Bernardeschi both scored as Italy prevailed, Jorginho converting the winning kick.


Summer transfersIn: Álvaro Morata (Atlético, loan extended), Kaio Jorge (Santos), Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo, loan), Moise Kean(Everton, loan)

Out: Marco Olivieri (Lecce, loan), Gianluigi Buffon (Parma, released), Marko Pjaca (Torino, loan), Gianluca Frabotta (Hellas Verona, loan), Cristian Romero (Atalanta, loan made permanent), Merih Demiral (Atalanta, loan), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Adrien Rabiot and Paulo Dybala have both made 49 appearances in both the UEFA Champions League, groupstage to final, and UEFA club competition.

On 22 September Juventus won their first Serie A game of the season at the fifth attempt, beating Spezia 3-2 awaythanks to goals from Moise Kean, Federico Chiesa and Matthijs de Ligt.

That was the first time Juve had scored three goals in a Serie A match since their last victory, a 4-1 win at Bolognaon 23 May.

Juve also scored three goals on Sunday, beating Sampdoria 3-2 in Turin, Manuel Locatelli getting the winner with hisfirst goal for the club. Leonardo Bonucci scored his first Juve goal since 5 December 2020 – although he did find thenet for Italy in the UEFA EURO 2020 final – with his first ever Serie A penalty.

The match was a 400th in Serie A for Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

The Bianconeri had begun the season with two draws and two defeats, their worst start since 1961/62. It was onlythe third time Juve had failed to win any of their first four Serie A games, after 1942/43, 1955/56 and 1961/62.

Juventus had been held 1-1 at home by AC Milan on 19 September despite taking an early lead through ÁlvaroMorata.

Juve have already dropped seven points from winning positions this season, just three less than in the whole of2020/21.

Allegri’s side led 1-0 at Spezia but had to come back after going 2-1 down, Chiesa and De Ligt scoring in the final 25minutes.

Without a clean sheet in Serie A this term, this is only the second time in 60 years that Juve have conceded tengoals or more after six games. They let in 11 in 1955/56.

Juve have not kept a clean sheet in 20 Serie A matches, one short of the club record set in 1955.

Dybala and Morata both had to be substituted against Sampdoria at the weekend due to injury.

Chiesa was replaced in the final minutes of the game against Spezia having reportedly suffered a thigh injury butstarted on Sunday.

Arthur has not played this season after undergoing leg surgery in the summer.


Summer transfersIn: Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham), Romelu Lukaku (Inter), Saúl Ñíguez (Atlético, loan)

Out: Willy Caballero (released), Jamal Blackman (released), Pierre Ekway Elimby (West Ham), Danilo Pantic(Partizan), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Izzy Brown (Preston, loan), Billy Gilmour (Norwich, loan), Victor Moses (SpartakMoskva), Luke McCormick (Wimbledon), Juan Familla-Castillo (Birmingham, loan), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), MarcGuehi (Crystal Palace), Jake Clarke-Salter (Coventry, loan), Tammy Abraham (Roma), Michy Batshuayi (Besiktas,loan), Kenedy (Flamengo, loan), Emerson Palmieri (Lyon, loan), Matt Miazga (Alavés, loan), Davide Zappacosta(Atalanta), Iké Ugbo (Genk), Baba Rahman (Reading, loan), Kurt Zouma (West Ham), Tiémoué Bakayoko (AC Milan,loan), Danny Drinkwater (Reading, loan)

Andreas Christensen’s next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.

Chelsea’s unbeaten start to this season’s Premier League (W4 D1) was ended by a 1-0 home loss againstchampions Manchester City on Saturday.

City’s winner was only the second goal the Blues have conceded in the league this season, and the first from openplay; they have scored 12 themselves.

A 3-0 success at home to Aston Villa on 11 September was Chelsea’s 600th Premier League win; they made it 601by beating Tottenham 3-0 away on 19 September. Only Manchester United (691) have more.

Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kanté and Antonio Rüdiger all scored their first goals of the season at Tottenham; indeed, it was Kanté’s first for the club since 23 November 2019.

Chelsea’s 12 league goals this season have been scored by ten different players; only Romelu Lukaku, with three,has more than one.

Chelsea beat Villa on penalties in the English League Cup third round on 22 September, Timo Werner scoring theBlues’ goal in a 1-1 draw. Thomas Tuchel’s side prevailed 4-3 in the shoot-out, Reece James converting the decisivekick.

The London club will be at home to Southampton in the last 16 in the week beginning 25 October.

Kanté was out between 28 August and 19 September with an ankle injury.

Mason Mount missed the City game with a knock while Edouard Mendy returned having not played since Matchday1 due to a rib injury.

James was taken off in the first half on Saturday with an ankle problem.

Christian Pulišic has been sidelined since 8 September due to an ankle injury picked up on international duty.

On 26 August, Jorginho was named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year. Mendy was named Goalkeeper of the Seasonwhile Kanté collected the award for the best midfielder and Tuchel won the coach’s prize.

Source: Supersport

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Leave a comment
%d bloggers like this:
scroll to top