Juve battle back to cancel out Oscar double

Chelsea 2 Juventus 2

Chelsea blew a two-goal lead as their defence of the Champions League got off to a breathless start against Juventus tonight.

Oscar looked set to enjoy a dream European debut with a stunning first-half double but the Italian champions ruthlessly exposed the holders' defensive deficiencies to snatch a draw at Stamford Bridge.

Arturo Vidal pulled a goal back before the break and, after Eden Hazard was denied what appeared a penalty, Fabio Quagliarella came off the bench to equalise and was a lick of paint from completing a sensational turnaround.

That would have been cruel on Chelsea but - as in their UEFA Super Cup thrashing by Atletico Madrid - they left themselves exposed enough to make such an outcome possible.

It was all looking so good after 33 minutes of what Roberto Di Matteo yesterday dubbed Mission: "Impossible".

His Midas touch in the competition was in evidence again after the shock selection of Oscar, who he admitted the club might not have convinced to join them had they not ended their agonising wait for Champions League glory.

Chelsea fans still pinching themselves at last season's astonishing triumph were given another glimpse of the European Cup before kick-off when members of the armed forces were handed the honour of parading it.

That proved a prelude to a combative first half-hour, which left David Luiz with a bloody nose and Vidal needing treatment on a knock.

The quality of football on show was not exactly what Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich had paid £80million to see but there were glimpses of the drama to come.

Luiz was under just enough pressure to steer Frank Lampard's corner straight at Gianluigi Buffon, while Fernando Torres wasted a great breakaway opportunity after robbing Andrea Pirlo, who is said not to have had a great start to the season by his high standards.

Torres, looking more lively than in his wretched performance at QPR on Saturday, also went close with a header but Juventus carved out the first clear chance when Andrea Barzagli's crossfield ball put Claudio Marchisio one on one with Petr Cech, who came flying out to smother.

Mirko Vucinic should have also done better than fire Vidal's pass into the sidenetting when clean through in the 29th minute and he was made to pay dearly in the next four minutes.

Oscar, who had almost looked like he had been picked to shadow Pirlo, found himself in space 25 yards out and unleashed a drive that Gianluigi Buffon would surely have saved but for a telling nick off Leonardo Bonucci.

If the first was lucky, the second was sublime, Oscar expertly controlling Ashley Cole's pass with his back to goal before spinning and unleashing an unstoppable dipping curler into the top corner.

But Juve are not 42 games unbeaten in Serie A for nothing.

Marchisio almost broke through again and Vidal fired over before taking full advantage of slack defending to drive a low left-foot shot into the bottom corner.

Hazard wasted another breakaway before half-time, after which Chelsea cranked up the pressure, with Branislav Ivanovic's dipping shot just kept out by Buffon.

The goalkeeper also beat away Lampard's driven free-kick before the home side were denied a penalty when Hazard surged into the box and went down under a clumsy challenge from Barzagli. Referee Pedro Proenca simply told Hazard to get up and he arguably made another mistake when booking Ramires for a perfectly clean tackle.

Vidal deservedly saw yellow for hauling back Oscar but Juve were suddenly on top, Chelsea resorting to the sort of counter-attacking tactics that served them so well last season.

Ramires was withdrawn for Ryan Bertrand before Oscar - who was stood on making a tackle - departed for Juan Mata.

Juventus responded by sending on Quagliarella for Sebastian Giovinco, who was actually looking a real threat.

And after Hazard and Mata almost combined to finish the contest - the latter blasting into the side-netting - the Juve substitute equalised.

It was another defensive horror show from Chelsea, Luiz hopelessly out of position as Quagliarella burst into an acre of space between John Terry and Ivanovic to steer Pirlo's through-ball between Cech's legs.

It was a nerve-jangling finish and Quagliarella was desperately unlucky not to complete an incredible turnaround when his left-foot curler clipped the crossbar.

News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleThe idea has been greeted enthusiastically by the party's MPs
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
News
The number of GP practices with 10 or more doctors has grown by 75 per cent
science
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game