Chelsea settle for draw with Juventus despite Oscar double

Sep 20, 2012
Bill Mann

Summer signing Oscar impresses, but Chelsea can’t stop Juventus two-goal comeback

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Chelsea 2 Juventus 2. Chelsea began the defence of their Champions League crown by blowing a two-goal lead and incurring the wrath of their manager. “That was a big disappointment,” fumed Roberto Di Matteo at the end of a pulsating encounter. “We found ourselves in a great position to win the game and yet we only got a draw in the end.”

There were plus points, however, for Di Matteo, notably the performance of summer signing Oscar, who marked his full debut with two first-half goals, one an absolute screamer that had the Stamford Bridge up on their feet in delight. The 21-year-old Brazilian, who moved to Chelsea in a £25m switch from Internacional, scored twice in three minutes to give the home side what should have been an unassailable lead.

Juventus looked stunned to find themselves two goals down after 33 minutes, though even their most ardent of fans would have appreciated the quality of Oscar’s second strike. Collecting the ball on the edge of the area with his back to the goal, the young Brazilian swivelled and shot, curling the ball with deft but deadly precision beyond the reach of Gianluigi Buffon’s despairing dive.

But Juventus were up for the challenge, and Chelsea seemed to relax, perhaps thinking the job was all but done. Their defence gave Arturo Vidal too much space on 38 minutes and he whipped in an angled shot that beat Petr Cech for pace.

Chelsea stepped up the pressure in the second half but Buffon wasn’t going to be made a fool of again, and the veteran keeper produced two sharp saves from Branislav Ivanovic's effort and a free-kick from Frank Lampard.

Juventus by now were scrapping for everything and Oscar felt the full force of their fury with Leonardo Bonucci appearing to stamp on the Brazilian. Eden Hazard also came in for some attention but Chelsea should have stood up to the pressure.

Instead, nine minutes from time, John Mikel Obi gave away possession to Claudio Marchisio. He threaded a sweet pass to substitute Fabio Quagliarella and the substitute coolly slid the ball between the legs of the advancing Cech.

Di Matteo had plenty to say about some of the visitors’ challenges, suggesting Uefa might want to study the alleged stamp on Oscar, but the Chelsea boss knew his side had only themselves to blame for coming away with a solitary point. “It was a good game of football but we feel a bit deflated because we were ahead and should have closed the game out,” he said. “We made a couple of mistakes and now it’s going to be very tough.”

In Group E’s other tie, Ukraine side Shakhtar Donetsk saw off Danish outfit Nordsjaelland 2-0 thanks to a goal in each half from Henrik Mkhitaryan. Chelsea travel to Denmark on 2 October hoping to get their Champions League show back on the road.

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