13 October 2021
Under the Allianz Stadium lights in front of a riled-up home crowd, Juventus Women suffered a narrow 2-1 loss to Chelsea in their second UEFA Women’s Champions League Group Stage fixture played in Turin.
Juventus were made to soak up a lot of early pressure from last season’s beaten Champions League finalists, working well to snuff out the Chelsea attack, but began to gain confidence and take the game to their English opponents as the first half wore on.
Soon after Pauline Peyraud-Magnin gathered Samanatha Kerr’s deflected strike, the Bianconeri went inches away from taking the lead, Barbara Bonansea rising highest to meet Martina Rosucci’s cross as the ball looped narrowly over the crossbar.
Just after the half hour mark, the Bianconere’s resistance was broken: Erin Cuthbert evaded several challenges to power towards goal before tucking the ball into the bottom right hand corner to give the visitors the lead.
Minutes later, a well-weighted through-ball was latched onto by Lina Hurtig, the pacey forward eventually running out of space, the ball running away from her as she sped towards goal.
Yet the Bianconere leveller would soon arrive, Lisa Boattin finding space in the middle of the park before putting in a sumptuous cross, Bonansea’s sweetly-struck volley sending the Allianz Stadium into raptures as the hosts drew level.
Chelsea were determined to respond immediately as Juventus dealt with a late first-half onslaught, captain Sara Gama marshalling the backline to ensure the score remained 1-1 at the break.
It was the visitors who started the better in the second half, Pernille Harder given room on more than one occasion to fire the ball on target, both her efforts in quick succession failing to find the mark.
A Valentina Cernoia free-kick arrowed just wide soon after, Juventus failing to make the most of the rare opportunity to threaten the Chelsea goal as the visiting side continued to pile on the pressure.
With twenty minutes to go, the London club re-took the lead, breaking on the counter as Kerr’s powerful shot was brilliantly blocked, yet the rebound fell to the feet of Harder who put the English club back in front.
Keen to stretch their advantage, Chelsea continued to attack, Kerr’s goal-bound shot producing a magnificent fingertip save from Peyraud-Magnin, who tipped the ball onto the woodwork.
The Bianconere showed grit, spirit and determination in the closing stages, but were unable to find a way through, suffering a hard-fought 2-1 loss on home turf.
JUVENTUS 1-2 CHELSEA (HT 1-1)
SCORERS: 31' Cuthbert (J), 37' Bonansea (C), 69' Harder (C)
JUVENTUS: Peyraud-Magnin; Lundorf, Gama, Salvai (73’ Lenzini), Boattin; Rosucci (81’ Caruso), Pedersen (88’ Zamanian), Cernoia; Bonansea (72’ Bonfantini), Girelli (81’ Staskova), Hurtig.
Unused substitutes: Aprile, Hyyrynen, Nilden, Giai, Beccari, Pfattner.
CHELSEA: Berger; Bright, Carter, Eriksson; Cuthbert (65’ Fleming), Ji (74’ Ingle), Leupolz, Reiten; Kirby (83’ Andersson), Kerr, Harder.