23 November 2021
Premier League leaders Chelsea earned a 4-0 home victory over Juventus in their penultimate UEFA Champions League Group Stage encounter played at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening, with both sides heading into Matchday 6 on level points atop the group.
The hosts were up for the challenge from the first whistle, dictating play and seeing more of the ball as they looked to apply early pressure on the Bianconeri backline.
The first real attempt came just inside ten minutes from a Chelsea corner, Reece James whipping in a dangerous ball which Trevoh Chalobah headed wide.
After winning a free-kick just outside the box down the left-hand side, James was once again involved in the action, but instead of the expected cross, he went straight for the near post, Wojciech Szczesny diving to his right to deny the England international.
Two minutes later the Blues took the lead from another set piece, this time a corner which bounced favourably off Antonio Rudiger for Chalobah to blast home from close range.
The Bianconeri almost hit back straight away, Alvaro Morata cleverly lobbing Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, only for Thiago silva to slide in with a goal line clearance to deny the Spaniard.
Chelsea kept up their high-tempo game, taking the ball upfield at pace when regaining possession. James continued to cause problems for the Juve defense as he chested the ball down and fired in a fierce shot on the half-volley to force Szczesny into another fine save.
The Bianconeri ended the first half in a flurry and almost snuck in a leveller just before the break, the visitors keeping possession after a miscued Weston McKennie shot, recycling the ball for Rodrigo Bentancur to line up a strike from distance which narrowly whizzed over the bar.
Chelsea built on their advantage at the start of the second half, doubling their lead ten minutes in as an unmarked James controlled a loose ball with his chest before driving in a powerful shot from the right to make it 2-0.
The Blues then added a third two minutes later, patient build-up play seeing them retain the ball before neatly playing it into the box, Ruben Loftus-Cheek dribbling his way through before finding Hudson-Odoi who side-footed home.
Despite a number of fresh legs brought on, including young junior talent Koni De Winter for his first team debut, Juventus were unable to break down a resilient Chelsea defense, who were able to control the latter stages of the game to see out the 90 minutes.
Chelsea still looked a threat when going forward, and almost added a fourth late-on, substitute Timo Werner playing in Hakim Ziyech who was through on goal, but Szczesny was equal to the task, getting low to block to the goalbound effort. The duo would reverse roles in injury time, Ziyech crossing in for Werner to poke home a fourth in the final minute of added time.
At the final whistle, the scoreboard read 4-0 to the home side, who draw level with Juventus at the top of Group H with 12 points, with one fixture remaining in the Group Stage.
CHELSEA 4–0 JUVENTUS (HT 1-0)
SCORERS: Chalobah 25’, James 56’, Hudson-Odoi 58’, Werner 90+5’ (C)
Line-up: Szczesny, de Ligt, Cuadrado (De Winter 81’), Alex Sandro, Bonucci, McKennie, Rabiot, Locatelli (Arthur 67’), Bentancur (Dybala 59’), Morata (Kean 67’), Chiesa (Kulusevski 80’)
Substitutes not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Rugani.
Line-up: Mendy, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, James, Kante (Loftus-Cheek 37’), Jorginho (Saul Niguez 76’), Chilwell (Azpilicueta 71’), Ziyech, Pulisic (Werner 72’), Hudson-Odoi (Mount 76’)
Substitutes not used: Kepa, Bettinelli, Alonso, Christensen, Lukaku, Barkley, Sarr.