Juventus 3 Chelsea 0: On the way out… humiliated holders facing new Champions League low as Di Matteo heads for the exit
08:17 GMT, 21 November 2012
ELSEWHERE IN GROUP E…
Chelsea are close to crashing out of the Champions League after group rivals Shakhtar were put on their way to a vital 5-2 win over Nordsjaelland by a highly controversial goal.
Read all about Luiz Adriano's goal here
A growing feeling of powerlessness may have overwhelmed Roberto Di Matteo as he stood, frozen, on the touchline in Turin.
The match had long passed beyond his control, the qualification process, too. After this disaster, with Shakhtar Donetsk already through, the Ukrainians could field a reserve team in their last match against Juventus, who would only need a point to accompany them into the final 16.
Chelsea's last group game, at home to Champions League whipping boys Nordsjaelland of Denmark, could be rendered an irrelevance. It was out of his hands now.
Lucky Fabio Quagliarella turned in a strike past Petr Cech
Juventus: Buffon, Chiellini, Barzagli, Bonucci, Lichtsteiner (Caceres 68), Marchisio, Pirlo, Asamoah, Vidal, Vucinic (Giovinco 83), Quagliarella (Pogba 89)
Subs not used: Storari, Caceres, Pepe, Giaccherini, Matri
Booked: Bonucci, Marchisio, Giovinco
Goals: Quagliarella 38, Vidal 61, Giovinco 90
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, David Luiz, Cahill, Azpilicueta (Moses 60), Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Mikel (Torres 71), Hazard
Subs not used: Turnbull, Bertrand, Romeu, Marin, Piazon
Referee: Cuneyt Cakır
In that case, the champions of Europe
song the fans loved so much would have to go as well. We know what we
are, they sing. And what they soon will be if third place in Group E
beckons, as is likely. The most short-lived winners of the Champions League. The first to exit the following season at the group stage.
A place in the last 16 should be the
minimum requirement for a team that paraded the biggest prize in club
football around the Allianz Arena little more than six months ago.
Hell, Chelsea could be crowned world
champions by FIFA next month. World champions and in the Europa League
after Christmas. What part of that picture doesn't fit
And then there were Di Matteo's own
prospects, his chances of seeing out the season as Chelsea manager.
That was where he had least power of all. Everyone knew who called the
shots at Stamford Bridge, and it wasn't him.
So Di Matteo stood, dressed to kill
as coach of one of the most important clubs in world football, and he
had all the power over his position of a first-week apprentice.
Oh dear: Arturo Vidal doubled Juventus' lead
Now what Juan Mata (left) and Eden Hazard wait to re-start the game
Di Matteo gambled big in Turin but
the scoreline revealed a busted flush. /11/20/article-2235996-16233065000005DC-544_634x365.jpg” width=”634″ height=”365″ alt=”Final nail: Sebastian Giovinco scored Juventus' third goal” class=”blkBorder” />
Final nail: Sebastian Giovinco scored Juventus' third goal
Why Roman has run out of patience
Roman Abramovich was furious when Chelsea surrendered a two-goal lead at home to Juventus, drawing 2-2 on September 19. Despite an impressive 4-2 win at Tottenham on October 20, they have won just two of their eight matches since. Oct 23: Lost 2-1 away to Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League). Oct 28: Lost 3-2 at home to Manchester United (Premier League). Oct 31: Beat United 5-4 at home after extra time (Capital One Cup). Nov 3: Drew 1-1 at Swansea (Premier League). Nov 7: Beat Shakhtar Donetsk 3-2 (Champions League). Nov 11: Drew 1-1 at home to Liverpool (Premier League). Nov 17: Lost 2-1 away to West Bromwich Albion (Premier League). Nov 20: Lost 3-0 away to Juventus (Champions League).
Juve won the game in midfield. Arturo
Vidal and Claudio Marchisio, either side of Andrea Pirlo, were the
stars of the night and the Italians got far too much joy down the
Chelsea threatened occasionally on
the break, but no more. Their struggles are often attributed to the end
of an era of hugely influential players. Drogba gone, Lampard ageing,
Terry and Ashley Cole in their twilight years. Yet Cech soldiers on,
captain last night, and without him the score could have been
The game was only three minutes old
when he was forced to make a brilliant save from Stephan Lichtsteiner,
and it set the tone for the night. In the 15th minute, he needed to be
at his best again: a short corner by Pirlo, teed up by Mirko Vucinic and
struck by Marchisio, kept out by Cech, diving low.
Other duties were comparatively
straightforward, the odd long-range effort from Pirlo or Fabio
Quagliarella, but Cech's handling was excellent. It was no surprise that
when Juventus did finally break the deadlock it was as much by luck as
Helpless: Ashley Cole and his team-mates were overpowered by a well organised Juventus
Remember me Zinedine Zidane was is the crowd watching his old club
Can Chelsea still qualify The only way Chelsea can go through is if they beat Nordsjaelland and Juventus lose to Shakhtar. If Shakhtar lose and finish level with Chelsea on 10 points, the Ukrainians would progress due to a better head-to-head record.
Pirlo hit an optimistic shot from
outside the area which Cech had covered until Quagliarella intervened,
diverting it with a glancing blow that left the goalkeeper frantically
changing direction, but in vain. He got a hand to it, but this was not
enough and Juventus were ahead. Could Cech have done better The images
were not flattering. Yet given the form he was in last night it would be
most out of character to err in this way. More than any Chelsea player, he deserved the benefit of the doubt.
Juventus Stadium erupted. It really
is a love-in here these days. The hated Stadio delle Alpi with its
mood-killing running track and cavernous empty spaces is now flat,
replaced by a shiny compact new arena.
Maestro: Andrea Pirlo deputised in midfield for Juventus
Jubilant: Gianluigi Buffon was ecstatic after the third goal
Judging by the atmosphere at last
night's game, the club has rarely felt so at one with its fans. Raucous
and close to the action, suddenly Juventus are a football club again
rather than this strangely stateless institution, as popular in the
south of the country as they were in their own city.
Chelsea were restricted to isolated
counter-attacking chances, although one at least touched the realms of
the truly spectacular. It came in the ninth minute when Juan Mata fed
Oscar who went on a mesmerising 60-yard run, eluding at least three
Juventus players and finishing by feeding the ball to Eden Hazard who
should have done more with his shot, tipped round by Gianluigi Buffon in
the Juve goal.
Outclassed: Petr Cech was helpless to prevent the goals flying in
On the bench, Torres no doubt
consoled himself that he could have dealt with it better, but he
couldn't. That was why he was on the bench. Introduced late in the game
for John Mikel Obi, he made negligible difference.
A botched clearance from David Luiz –
is there any other kind – had to be cleared from the line by Cole or
Chelsea could have gone in at half time two down, but Juventus did not
have to wait an age for the goal that sealed victory.
Kwadwo Asamoah made another powerful
run down the left and cut the ball back precisely for the late-arriving
Vidal, whose shot struck Ramires, diverting the ball through the legs of
Cech. /11/20/article-2235996-16233DBD000005DC-601_634x417.jpg” width=”634″ height=”417″ alt=”On the brink: Roberto Di Matteo suffered a devastating defeat in Turin ” class=”blkBorder” />
On the brink: Roberto Di Matteo suffered a devastating defeat in Turin
When substitute Sebastian Giovinco
sprung the high-line defence, there really was no need for him to come
chasing off his line quite so dramatically, with Cole covering. It made
Giovinco's mind up and he finished first-time from 30 yards.
At that moment, it became Chelsea's
biggest defeat in Europe in 12 years. They weren't reigning champions
then, however, and the Roman Abramovich years were still to come. So
this is a big one. A landmark.
Just the thought of playing Juventus
cost Luiz Felipe Scolari his job in 2009 because Abramovich was not
convinced his coach would beat them. The reality may do for Di Matteo
This is a record defeat in Europe for
Abramovich era Chelsea, but one man has the power to address that, and
no doubt will. It's not the manager, by the way.
Juventus Stadium Match Zone, by Matt Barlow It's a ton of trouble for Cole
Ashley Cole was back after a hamstring injury to make his 100th European appearance. His first was in Arsenal's 4-2 win over Sparta Prague in 2000 but this was never likely to be so comfortable.
With his first contribution Cole failed to clear and conceded a chance to Stephan Lichtsteiner, who, seconds later, beat him to Andrea Pirlo's pass. Both efforts were saved by Petr Cech but Cole did make a brilliant goal-line clearance before the break.
No substitute for experience
Only three players – Ashley Cole, Petr Cech and John Mikel Obi – were in the Chelsea team which drew 2-2 with Juventus in Turin in March 2009.
It underlines the team's transformation in the race to 'Be like Barca' and the absence of big-game experience when names like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba are removed. For all their pace on the break, there is still some value in having know-how on the pitch.
Bendtner left out of Juventus squad
No sign of Nicklas Bendtner in the Juventus team, not even on the bench. The former Arsenal striker was left to contemplate his art collection and another coach who misunderstands him.
Bendtner's chances of being involved vanished when Mirko Vucinic was declared to have recovered from his cold and Sebastian Giovinco dropped to the bench. Goals have been an issue for Juventus but Fabio Quagliarella justified his inclusion when he opened the scoring.