Champions League

Chelsea facing exit

2012-11-21 07:32
Arturo Vidal (AFP)

Turin - Chelsea's hopes of successfully defending their Champions League title were left hanging by a thread after an emphatic 3-0 defeat to a dominant Juventus on Tuesday.

Chelsea went into the clash one point ahead of the Bianconeri in Group E but were dominated throughout and found no answer to goals in either half from Fabio Quagliarella and Arturo Vidal.

The champions' hopes of any kind of fightback were dashed when second-half substitute Sebastian Giovinco beat the onrushing Petr Cech in the first minute of injury time to secure a 3-0 win.

"It was a great team effort," said assistant Juventus coach Angelo Alessio, whose side now sit second in the group behind Shakhtar Donetsk after the Ukrainians qualified by defeating Nordsjaelland.

"We were strong in defence but the whole team showed up with the will to put in a strong performance. It has given us a lot of confidence but we still feel there's room for improvement."

Barely six months after being crowned kings of Europe, Chelsea are facing the ignominy of dropping out of the competition before the lucrative last 16 knockout phase.

It comes amid a torrid spell for the English giants, who have now leaked 20 goals in their past nine games in all competitions, including two in a 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Blues manager Roberto Di Matteo said: "It's a big disappointment. Obviously a difficult evening for us, the team, the club. A lot of reflection."

Chelsea must beat Nordsjaelland in their final match to qualify, but their last 16 destiny now depends on the result of the Shakhtar v Juve match in a fortnight.

Chelsea started with no recognised striker after leaving Fernando Torres on the bench but Juventus went about their task positively and should have had several goals during a dominant first-half.

Early on Cech had to rush to keep out Stephan Lichsteiner's shot at the back post from Claudio Marchisio's short cross.

Chelsea, however, then missed a great chance to heap pressure on the hosts when Eden Hazard forced Gianluigi Buffon to parry his angled snap-shot off the post after Oscar's superb run past the Juventus defence in the ninth minute.

Juventus were a constant threat but good run down the left by Ashley Cole allowed the left back to feed Oscar on the edge of the area.

After a perfect square ball to Ramires his shot from 20 metres went well wide of Buffon's goal.

Di Matteo explained that he fielded no striker in order to have Hazard, Mata and Oscar changing positions to confuse Juve's defence.

"I didn't want to give the centre-backs any points of reference," he added.

"Hazard had the first good chance for us, Oscar had another one and Mata too.

"In tight games the first goal is often decisive."

When Juventus scored, it was in textbook fashion but came with a dose of good luck, Pirlo hitting a speculative dipping shot that Quagliarella managed to deflect from 15 metres out into the Chelsea net.

Chelsea were lucky not to concede a second a minute later, Cole rushing to clear as Lichsteiner's shot bobbled towards the goalline.

Seconds later Buffon rushed out in timely fashion to deny Mata as the Spaniard ran down on goal unhindered.

After the restart, chances by Vucinic and Vidal went begging and the hosts were denied what appeared to be a valid penalty claim when defender Gary Cahill impeded Mirko Vucinic in the area after Quagliarella's lob put the Montenegrin through.

Di Matteo replaced midfielder Cesar with Victor Moses just before the hour but a minute later Chelsea were 2-0 down after Vidal's first-time shot from Kwadwo Asamoah's perfect cutback took a deflection off Ramires to wrong-footed Cech.

Di Matteo sent on Fernando Torres, but it appeared a desperate move which had little effect.

Chelsea had little to offer and when diminutive midfielder Giovinco was released and went on to run unmarked towards goal he slipped the ball past the ball past the onrushing Cech from long range to seal the win in the 91st minute.

Di Matteo added: "Mathematically, it's still possible. When there's hopes you try, we just have to make sure we do our job our end and win the last group game."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.