Chelsea’s defense of the Champions League trophy is hanging by a thread after a 3-0 humbling by Juventus in Turin. The outcome means that the Italian champions will progress to the knockout phase alongside Shakhtar Donetsk if they avoid defeat in Ukraine in two weeks’ time.
The result and the one-sided nature of it is sure to see pressure mount on Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo who had already been the subject or murmurings following a run of poor form in the Premier League.
The Italian made a bold selection choice for the crunch clash; choosing to omit £50 million striker Fernando Torres and instead add extra protection in the form of full-back Cesar Azpilicueta on the right of midfield.
However, the switch failed to pay dividends and Juventus secured their impressive victory courtesy of goals from Fabio Quagliarella, Arturo Vidal and Sebastian Giovinco.
The opening goal arrived in the 38th minute as Andrea Pirlo’s long-range strike that looked to be posing little threat was diverted past Petr Cech from the edge of the box by Quagliarella.
Just past the hour mark, Cech was beaten by another deflection as Juventus grabbed a crucial second goal. Mirko Vucinic fed Kwadwo Asamoah down the left and the Ghanaian cleverly pulled the ball back to Vidal on the edge of the box whose low side-footed effort flicked off the heel of Ramires right in front of Cech and took it cruelly through the goalkeeper’s legs.
The exclamation point was then added to the score line by substitute Giovinco in injury time. With Chelsea desperately in search of a way back into the contest, Vidal exposed the vast holes in the visitors’ back line with a through ball to the Italian forward who poked the ball first time past the outrushing Cech from 25 yards.