Stamford Bridge keen to remind people of Chelsea's champion status in Europe
Home of the champions
Stamford Bridge is a different place now. Having waited for eight years to become champions of Europe, they are not embarrassed about reminding people of their new status.
The "Champions of Europe" livery adorns the walls of the stadium like medieval heraldry. The trophy was paraded before kick-off by members of the armed forces. The Chelsea team was read out as "Number 1, European champion Petr Cech, number 2 European champion Branislav Ivanovic, number 3 European champion Ashley Cole" and so on and so on and so forth.
Of course, Chelsea did not invent triumphalism and they certainly did not invent vulgarity. They might well intimidate Shakhtar Donetsk and Nordsjaelland with it when they come here. But Juventus have 28 Italian titles and two European cups, and they somehow managed to still play their game.
Torres needs a partner
Yet again, Chelsea's decision to spend this season, or at least the first half of it, relying on an unreliable striker looked the height of negligence. Fernando Torres did at least run the channels last night but he was facing three rugged, disciplined Italian international centre-backs. How he could have done with a partner to make up some of the numerical deficit.
But Roberto Di Matteo just does not have the options. So Torres had to try to do it himself, could not, and Chelsea's foot slipped from Juve's throat. The visitors brought on two international strikers – Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri, and the former scored the equaliser. And this will only get worse if Torres is injured.
Di Matteo was keen to point out on Tuesday evening that Juventus were not just Andrea Pirlo and 10 others. Even if it sounded like the deflection of expectation it was not. Pirlo, for once, was the least impressive man of Juve's midfield three. He was flanked by the twin pistons of Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio, both getting through stirring work breaking up attacks, prompting moves and bursting forward. Chelsea were not obviously prepared for Marchisio's running. At 0-0 he darted in between Ivanovic and David Luiz but shot straight at Petr Cech.
When Juventus were 2-0 down the pair continued to take risks leaving space behind them. Marchisio broke forward, took a pass from Kwadwo Asamoah and found Vidal, who shuffled on to his left foot to score. The pair were Juventus' main goal threat through the second half, both going close before Marchisio's pass to Fabio Quagliarella made the equaliser.
Oscar adjusts to physical competition
For a first start in European club football, this was more than reasonable from Oscar. The Brazilian does not have Eden Hazard's build, and would appear to be more liable to being shrugged off the ball.
Or maybe one who needs 26 minutes. From when Oscar spun and flicked a pass for Ramires to run on to, he was utterly at home in the brisk examinations of the Champions League. Yes, this was not the proverbial evening's entertainment at the Brittania Stadium, but it was not the Copacabana either. Juventus are strong and fierce and proud and certainly not averse to tackling.
But after scoring twice, once fortunately, the other beautifully, Oscar was happy to match them. Early in the second half he slid-tackled Asamoah, bounced up and shrugged off Mirko Vucinic, both players far bigger than him. He even took a stamp on the ankle from Leonardo Bonucci and played on. It was a test unambiguously passed, and a useful one: Stoke come here on Saturday.
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