UEFA Champions League Group E wrap: Juve crush Chelsea
By Football News
Chelsea's defence of their Champions League crown was left in tatters as Juventus put the Blues to the sword in a convincing 3-0 win.
Fabio Quagliarella opened the scoring for the hosts in Turin on Tuesday, before Arturo Vidal and Sebastian Giovinco rounded off the victory.
The Blues' chances were almost dealt an early blow as Mirko Vucinic's clever back-post cross required Petr Cech to pull off a stunning point-blank save from Stephan Lichtsteiner.
The giant Chelsea shot-stopper was at the heart of the action, parrying well from Claudio Marchisio's first-time effort on 15 minutes.
At the other end, Oscar carried Chelsea's threat as he glided past several Juve defenders and released Eden Hazard, who seemed certain to score until Gianluigi Buffon's trailing leg diverted his low shot just wide.
It was not until the 35th minute that Chelsea mustered another clear-cut chance, Brazilian Oscar again threatening but seeing his shot cut off by Leandro Bonucci's well-timed tackle.
The deadlock was broken three minutes later in fortuitous circumstances, Quagliarella diverting Andrea Pirlo's tame 25-yard effort past a sprawling Cech to give Juventus the lead.
Chelsea's defensive line came under question straight after the interval as Gary Cahill appeared to tug the problematic Vucinic to the ground in the penalty area, though no spot-kick was awarded.
The Juventus forwards continued to threaten and Quagliarella had two fine chances to double his haul for the match, but was left ruing the determined goalkeeping of Cech.
The Czech stalwart could not deny Vidal extending the lead, however, the Chilean midfielder pouncing on Kwadwo Asamoah's drive into the box to make it 2-0.
Chelsea continued to chase the game but it was the hosts who looked more dangerous, with Juve sealing the points when substitute Giovinco prodded past Cech.
The result saw Juve leapfrog Roberto Di Matteo's side into second in the group standings, which are lead by Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, who won 5-2 at Nordsjaelland.
Luiz Adriano struck a hat-trick and Willian added a brace for the victors, who trailed on two occasions after Morten Nordstrand and Kasper Lorentzen had given the Danes the lead.
Shakhtar top the standings on 10 points with one match remaining, while Juventus are a point back in second and third-placed Chelsea on seven points.
Nordsjaelland sit in last on one point.