April 20 2014 Latest news:
by Paul Lagan, Chelsea correspondent at Stamford Bridge
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Champions League: Chelsea 2 Juventus 2
Oscar’s two brilliant sent Chelsea into early raptures in defence of their Champions League title against Juventus at Stamford Bridge tonight but defensive lapses and poor concentration allowed the Italians to force their way back into the match with two well taken efforts to draw the opening Group E match.
The Brazil midfielder, making his first start for the Blues struck twice in three brathtaking minutes.
But Arturo Vidal struck back on 37 minutes within four minutes before substitute Fabio Quagliarella slipped the offside trap to cooly finish past Petr Cech on 80 minutes.
David Luiz almost opened the scoring on four minutes when he got his head to a Frank Lampard corner.
However there was insufficient power in the effort to trouble Gianluigi Buffon.
Following. Short spell of Juventus possession, Chelsea took advantage of a slip by Andrea Pirlo on 15 minutes, which saw Fernando Torres race through but his ball wide to Eden Hazard was over hit and the momentum was lost.
Torres was soon in the action again three minutes later when he rose to knock on a deep Hazard cross back into the mix. The ball ping-ponged before it was hacked away fr a corner.
Juventus pierced the Chelsea rearguard on 20 minutes freeing Claudio Marchisio who beat the offside trap.
Petr Cech was alert to the danger and raced out to smother the ball.
With both sides playing counter-attack, the outcome would surly be decided by who had the most lethal striker.
Juventus signalled their attacking prowess on 30 minutes when Arturo Vidal, slide the ball to Mirko Vucinic who smashed the ball, with a first- time effort to the Chelsea side-netting.
But the Champions of Europe decided that enough was enough and a minute later the Blues were ahead.
With Ashley Cole feeding the ball from the left to Hazard, the Belgium midfielder cha Leaned the ball across to Oscar.
The Brazil star, making his first start proceeded to arrow a force shot fro 29 yard out, which took a slight a slight deflection off the boot of Giorgio Chiellini before zipping past a hapless Buffon.
If there was a small degree of good fortune for that, Oscar, 21, then made up for it with a sumptuous turn and shot from the edge of the visitors’ penalty area two minutes later.
Buffon, arguably the best goalkeeper n the world, was beaten all hands down as the ball cleared the desperate reach of the Italian.
The hard-fought two-goal advantage lasted just four minutes as Chelsea suffered a dip on concentration and Vidal, still hobbling from an earlier challenge by David Luiz, rifled home a smart left-footer from the edge of the Chelsea area.
Ramires tried his luck with two minutes of the half remaining, when he toe-poked towards goal, but the effort was snaffled by Buffon.
Perhaps sensing that a third goal was required to put Juventus away, the Blues started the second half positively - Ramires just failing to get a header away and Branislav Ivanovic forcing Buffon into a diving save with a powerfully driven shot from 20 yards on 50 minutes.
Lampard got in on the act with a trademark pile-driver from 25 yards eight minutes in - Buffon punching the ball Way in characteristic fashion.
Hazard was unlucky no to be awarded a penalty on 58 minutes when twice he was given a shove by Andrea Barzagli, but referee Pedro Proenca from Portugal adjudged there was no contact and gave a goal-kick.
The ref upset the majority of the 40, 918 crowd by yellow carding Ramires for a seemingly good tackle a minute later.
Luiz came to Lampard’s aid as the midfielder gave the ball away to Marchisio, The Brazil centre-back made a timely inter emotion to clear the strikers shot.
Londoner Ryan Bertrand entered the fray on 70 minutes replacing Ramires as Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo attempted to reshuffle his pack to counter Juventus’s growing dominance.
Hazard took over Ramires right-wing duties with Bertrand in his customary left sided position.
Juan Mata was next on for Chelsea as £25m man and two-goal hero Oscar left the field with 17 minutes remaining .
Hazard and Mata showed their mercurial talents can also produce scintillating play when the duo combined brilliantly, the only downside was the final ball rattled the side netting.
But the visitors produced a piece of magic of their own on 80 minutes and levelled with breathtaking speed.
Milkel lost possession to Marchisio in midfield allowing substitute Fabio Quagliarella to beat the offside trap and tuck the ball home under Cech from a tight angle.
Quagliarella, almost embarrassed Chelsea on 86 minutes when an expertly taken turn and shot saw his left-footed curler clip Cech’s crossbar from just outside Chelsea’s area.
The Blues, in the end were clinging on for a point when, in truth they had the game in the bag.
No further slips will be tolerated if Di Matteo is to become the first manager to retain the Champions League.