CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Chelsea’s hopes hanging as Juventus power ahead

Chelsea chances of defending their Champions League title have been dealt a massive blow as they lost 3-0 to Juventus in Turin tonight.

The defeat has the Blues sitting in a very precarious position on the Group E table as they now need to beat Nordjsaelland in the final group stage fixture and hope that Juve lose to Shakhtar Donetsk following the Ukrainian side’s 5-2 win in Denmark.

Fabio Quagliarella, Arturo Vidal and Sebastian Giovinco were all on the scoresheet as the Italian champions emphatically disposed of Roberto Di Matteo’s men who looked deprived of any real attacking threat with Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon having little to do compared to Petr Cech down the other end.

The scoring opened for the Italians seven minutes prior to the break when Andrea Pirlo’s poorly-struck effort from range was redirected past Cech and into the back of the net with a clever, yet fortuitous first-time touch from Quagliarella.

Juventus were applying the pressure early in the second half and it worked perfectly when Kwadwo Asamoah got on the end of a swift move before teeing up Arturo Vidal whose low attempt bounced off the heel of Ramires and through the legs of Cech for the second.

Chelsea huffed and puffed as they attempted to get back into the contest but were extremely wasteful going forward and their desire to score worked against them in the first minute of stoppage time when Giovinco was fed by Vidal . The second-half sub was able to slot it past Cech from way outside the area after the Blues gloveman inexplicably advanced despite there being defensive cover from Ashley Cole.

The first half created a number of chances for both sides, namely with Stephan Lichtsteiner being denied at the back post by Cech who managed to divert the ball onto the upright.

Chelsea’s best chance came inside 10 minutes after a great run by Oscar who fed Eden Hazard but his angled attempt was well-saved by Buffon into the side netting.

Claudio Marchisio saw his fierce effort brilliantly knocked to safety by a diving Cech and moments after the opening goal, Cole courageously cleared off the line after the ball deflected goalward following a defensive mix-up.

Chances were not as forthcoming in the second half despite Juve’s dominance and in the end they were far too good for the Blues who now need a fair portion of luck to be able to progress to the knockout phase when they host Nordsjaelland on December 5, they same night as Juventus take on Shakhtar in Donetsk.

UEFA Champions League – Group E

Juventus: 3 (Fabio Quagliarella 38’, Arturo Vidal 61’, Sebastian Giovinco 90+1’)
Chelsea: 0

Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy – 39,670

Yellow cards: JUV - Leonardo Bonucci 41’, Claudio Marchisio 85’, Giovinco 90+1’
CHE - Ramires 76’

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