Chelsea 2-2 Juventus
Chelsea started their defence of the Champions League by blowing a two-goal lead against Juventus. New signing Oscar looked set to enjoy a magical European début with a stunning first-half brace; however, the Italian champions took advantage of some mediocre defending to snatch a draw at Stamford Bridge. Arturo Vidal pulled a timely goal back before the break and, after Eden Hazard was denied a decent penalty claim, substitute Fabio Quagliarella levelled the scores and was inches away from taking all three points.
In the early exchanges, Frank Lampard’s corner was met by Luiz, who headed straight at Gianluigi Buffon, while Fernando Torres wasted a great opportunity after some unusually sloppy play from Andrea Pirlo. Torres, hoping to put his lamentable performance at QPR on Saturday behind him, also went close with a header – but it was the Italians who carved out the first real chance when Andrea Barzagli’s drilled cross-field pass put Claudio Marchisio one-on-one with Petr Čech, who smothered the chance well to keep the game level.
The impressive Mirko Vučinić should have put Juventus ahead, but only managed to find the side-netting on the half-hour mark. Oscar found himself in space 25 yards out and unleashed a drive that Gianluigi Buffon would surely have saved in normal circumstances; however, he seemed to be intent on arguing with Leonardo Bonucci.
The first was fortuitous, the second was stunning: Oscar expertly cushioned Ashley Cole’s pass with his back to goal before spinning and whipping an unstoppable curler into the top corner.
Just when Chelsea appeared to be taking a commanding lead into the dressing room, Arturo Vidal found space in sight of goal, and then drilled his strike low to put the ball through John Terry’s legs and into the corner of the net.
Chelsea started to wobble after the break and with ten minutes remaining, a poor pass from John Obi Mikel gave possession back to Juventus. The midfielder then did what all amateur footballers do in this situation: he stood and sulked, hoping someone else would clean up his mess.
They didn’t – well, Juve did, as Claudio Marchisio found Fabio Quagliarella with a well-judged pass, and the substitute pulled his side level, megging Čech in the process.
Not an ideal start for the defending champions but they will count themselves lucky to grab a point after their poor second-half display.
Matthew O’Brien, football correspondent