Juventus vs. Chelsea: Score, Analysis and Grades
Chelsea's recent struggles continued in Turin, as they dropped into third place in Group E following a 3-0 loss to Juventus.
The first half featured wide-open play from both sides, and each had quality opportunities in front of each other's goal. However, Juventus appeared to have the advantage while playing at home, and Fabio Quagliarella smartly deflected Andrea Pirlo's strike past Petr Cech in the 38th minute to make sure the score line reflected this.
After the break, Chelsea continued to put pressure but never truly threatened to score against the Italians. Arturo Vidal doubled Juve's lead with a strike from distance that once again got past Cech on a deflection. The Blues goalkeeper then made a questionable decision to leave his line in the 90th minute and challenge Sebastian Giovinco, who slipped the ball past him to push the score to 3-0.
Chelsea is now dangerously close to being the first team to win the Champions League and fail to reach the knockout stage in its next campaign.
Andrea Pirlo, Juventus: A-
The ageless midfield maestro was once again instrumental to an important victory for his side. His intelligent and accurate passing ensured that Juventus maintained control of the match and their future in the Champions League.
Near the end of the first half, he made a fantastic interception and quickly settled the ball and fired at Chelsea's goal. The shot was deflected into the goal, and his effort gave the Italian side the momentum it needed for a positive result.
Juan Mata, Chelsea: C
The stakes were clear heading into this match, and Mata failed to deliver. He certainly had a difficult task as he attempted to find space in a crowded midfield, but the Blues needed a top-class performance from its star player.
Mata has been in incredible form recently, but this was not one of his better matches. He made little impact on the match, and without a major contribution from him, Chelsea was unable to score.
Fabio Quagliarella, Juventus: B+
The veteran striker played the poacher's role to perfection in this match. His slight touch on Pirlo's shot proves that a player does not need to do much in order to make a massive impact on the game.
His positioning and his movement were extremely intelligent throughout the match, and he ensured that David Luiz and Gary Cahill were constantly occupied.
Eden Hazard, Chelsea: C+
Hazard started the game in an unfamiliar position, as Roberto Di Matteo opted to start the match in a False No. 9 formation. Playing out of position, the Belgian playmaker was not nearly as effective as he has been previously this season.
Fernando Torres was eventually brought onto the field to give the Blues a natural striker, but Juventus had already fallen back into defensive tactics by this point, and Hazard was unable to cut down his team's deficit.
Arturo Vidal, Juventus: A-
Juventus dominated the midfield in this match through excellent play from both Pirlo and Vidal.
Pirlo's strike from distance was deflected by his teammate, and he did not get credit for the goal. Vidal was more fortunate, as Chelsea's Ramires pushed his attempt past Cech. The Chilean's excellent performance certainly earned him a place on the score sheet.
Juventus are now in second place in Group E, while Chelsea drops to third. Shakhtar Donetsk is in first, and Juve will travel to play the Ukrainians in two weeks, while the Blues will host FC Nordsjælland.
The Blues now need a victory in their final game, and will also need Juventus to lose to Donetsk.
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