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20 Nov 2012

Scintillating Juve light up Europe

Conte’s men overcome defending European champions Chelsea on a magical night in Turin. 3-0 the final score in front of a sell-out crowd at Juventus Stadium

The Bianconeri delighted a sell-out crowd at Juventus Stadium with a scintillating 3-0 victory over defending European champions Chelsea.

Antonio Conte’s side were magnificent from start to finish on a magical night of Champions League football, and full value for a scoreline that could have been even more punishing on the Blues.

Having knocked on the door for the majority of the first half, Quagliarella eventually found the goal his sharp forward play merited when he turned Pirlo’s shot past the despairing dive of Cech.

The lead was doubled when Chilean midfielder Vidal doubled the hosts’ advantage just past the hour mark, while Giovinco came off the bench to wrap up the points late on.  

For the visit of Chelsea, Conte elected to reinstate Lichtsteiner after the Swiss full-back sat out Serie A meetings with Pescara and Lazio. Pirlo reclaimed his role in the middle of the park having served a one-match domestic suspension, while Vucinic was deemed fit enough to partner Quagliarella in attack following a recent bout of flu.

Juventus began with an electrifying pace and could have taken the lead as early as the third minute. Lichtsteiner burst into the box from deep to connect with Vucinic’s clipped delivery across the face of goal, only to be denied by a combination of Cech and the post.

But following a heavy spell of one-way traffic, Chelsea almost edged their noses in front against the run of play. Brazilian starlet Oscar, who struck a first-half double in September’s meeting at Stamford Bridge, embarked on a fine run from deep before unselfishly playing in Hazard. The Belgian steadied himself before dispatching a shot on goal but thrashed his effort into the side netting.

The Bianconeri rallied and gained an increasingly steady grip on proceedings. Marchisio was next to try his luck on 16 minutes, with Cech making a smart one-handed stop to turn the midfielder’s close-range drive around the post.

Quagliarella, who netted a priceless equaliser in London, then began his personal crusade to get the better of David Luiz. After dragging his marker over to opposite sides of the penalty area twice in quick succession, the in-form striker tested Cech with a pair of low efforts.

However, it proved to be third time lucky for the Naples-born frontman as he instinctively stabbed Pirlo’s long-range strike towards goal, seeing the ball trickle past the outstretched hand of Cech on 38 minutes.     

Chelsea emerged for the second half with added zest and enjoyed a strong period of pressure inside the opening ten minutes of the restart. But Conte’s men maintained their defensive discipline and set off in search of goal number two.

Cech looked at his impenetrable best as the Blues attempted to ride out wave after wave of Juventus attacks, denying both Quagliarella and Pirlo in the space of minutes. But there was nothing he could do when Asamoah teed up Vidal to extend the Bianconeri’s advantage with a drilled attempt from the edge of the area.

With substitutes Moses and Torres thrown on to help Chelsea try and reduce their two-goal deficit, it was another introduction who made the difference and put the result beyond doubt, Giovinco prodding the ball past an advancing Cech after being sent clear by Vidal.

The result means a draw would be enough to see the Bianconeri safely through to the knockout stages of the Champions League on 5 December. Next stop, Donetsk. 

JUVENTUS 3-0 CHELSEA

GOALS: Quagliarella 38, Vidal 61, Giovinco 45+1

JUVENTUS

Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner (Caceres 67), Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Quagliarella (Pogba 89), Vucinic (Giovinco 82). 

Substitutes not used: Storari, Giaccherini, Pepe, Matri.

Coach: Alessio.

CHELSEA

Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Mikel (Torres 71); Azpilicueta (Moses 60), Mata, Oscar; Hazard.

Substitutes not used: Turnbull, Bertrand, Romeu, Marin, Piazon.

Coach: Di Matteo.

REFEREE: Çakir (TUR)

ASSISTANTS: Duran, Ongun (TUR)

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Eysoy (TUR)

BOOKINGS: Ramires 76, Marchisio 85, Giovinco 90+1