Juventus vs. Chelsea  3 - 0

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Vidal: Crushing Chelsea was ´perfect´

21 November 2012 14:35

Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal said his side's 3-0 Champions League victory over Chelsea was 'the perfect night'.

Goals from Fabio Quagliarella, Vidal and Sebastian Giovinco helped Juve to a vital win and to second place in Group E, much to the delight of the Chile international.

"It was the perfect night, we played an incredible match against a great side like Chelsea and now we are very happy. We just have to keep on like this until the end," Vidal told the official UEFA website.

"We were eager to win this game. It was so important so that we could continue to grow as a team. It's not over yet – there is another game – but if we play as well as we did tonight it will be an interesting game for us against Shakhtar."

The 25-year-old also hailed the influence of their fans who willed them over the line at Juventus Stadium.

"When our fans support us like they did tonight our hearts become bigger on the pitch. It's so important to have this kind of support from our fans in this stadium," Vidal said.

Juve resume Serie A action on Sunday when they travel to AC Milan.

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Alessio: Juventus not through yet

21 November 2012 10:05

Angelo Alessio has called on Juventus to try and replicate their performance from their 3-0 Champions League win over Chelsea.

The Serie A champions now sit second in Group E with nine points from five matches and need just a point against Shakhtar Donetsk in their final group stage clash to book their ticket for the knockout phase of the competition.

Alessio insists that Juventus need another stellar performance in order to achieve just that and has warned his team against complacency when they travel to Ukraine.

"Our last game will be extremely important as we are not through yet, but we will play the same way we did tonight," Juve's assistant coach said at a press conference.

"We like to play football - we did everything we could to win, and were rewarded with an important victory. Both teams have great players and it was a beautiful game.

"I have to compliment the whole team on this game. We wanted to maintain a high pace over the 90 minutes, we wanted to force them to defend.

"Of course we were playing against a big team like Chelsea so it's inevitable that they had a few chances as well."

Juventus trail leaders Shakhtar by one point on the Champions League table, with Chelsea in third place.

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Cech: Loss a ´huge disappointment´

21 November 2012 02:53

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech admits his side's 3-0 Champions League defeat by Juventus was a 'huge disappointment'.

Roberto Di Matteo's team suffered a convincing loss to Juve, who require just a point against Shakhtar Donetsk in their final Group E game to prevent the holders from reaching the knockout stages.

"We said before the game we had our destiny in our own hands but not anymore," Cech told reporters after the match.

"Now we have to do our bit to win our last game and hope destiny will be kind to us.

"Being realistic, Juventus played really well and they need a point. Shakhtar have already qualified so they don't need to take a chance on the result.

"It is a very sad moment because last season the Champions League was like a dream. I wouldn't say it's a nightmare but it's a huge disappointment."

The 30 year-old praised Juve's performance but said his team contributed to their own downfall by not being clinical in front of goal.

"I think we showed much better spirit than in the last few games," Cech said.

"We did well and created some chances but, in such an important game, if you create chances you have to take them and that was the difference.

"They went ahead with a lucky deflection and the second goal was a deflection as well but they put on a very good performance and they did really well."

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Di Matteo takes blame for defeat

21 November 2012 02:24

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has taken responsibility for his team's 3-0 loss to Juventus on Tuesday.

Goals from Fabio Quagliarella, Arturo Vidal and Sebastian Giovinco sealed what was a convincing win for the Serie A champions in the Champions League clash at Juventus Stadium.

Under-fire Di Matteo, who selected a surprise line-up without a recognised striker, took blame for the loss which extended Chelsea's winless run in all competitions to three matches.

"I'm responsible for the result. I'm responsible for the performance," the Italian told reporters.

"It's a negative evening for us. If anyone has to take the blame, it's me."

Fernando Torres and Victor Moses were left on the bench as Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar took up the attacking positions for a counter-attacking Chelsea.

The trio had their chances and Di Matteo defended his decision to start without a striker in the Group E clash.

"I thought this was the team to beat Juventus. Hazard had the first good chance for us, I thought he played the (lone forward) position well, held the ball up and put some great balls in," he said.

"I wanted to give problems to Juventus in different ways, not to give them a point of reference. That's what Hazard did. He moved their three centre-backs around.

"When the result is negative, everything will be questioned. We have to pick ourselves up again."

Chelsea, who must beat Nordsjaelland on the final match-day to have any chance of progressing, need Shakhtar Donetsk to upset Juventus and Di Matteo refuses to give up hope.

"We have hope because mathematically it's still possible for us. At a big club like this, if you have a few bad results, you're going to be under pressure. It's been the same from day one," he said.

Juventus caretaker coach Angelo Alessio praised his team and said their unpredictability in attack was a major reason they regularly caused Chelsea problems.

"We were able to ensure a top performance thanks to our effort and we pressed them well," he said.

"We were also unpredictable which was good because we are often criticised for being too obvious and tonight we varied our play which was good.

"I was really happy with the result and hopefully we can use this to qualify for the next stage."

Article

UEFA Champions League Group E wrap: Juve crush Chelsea

20 November 2012 23:14

Chelsea's defence of their Champions League crown was left in tatters as Juventus put the Blues to the sword in a convincing 3-0 win.

Fabio Quagliarella opened the scoring for the hosts in Turin on Tuesday, before Arturo Vidal and Sebastian Giovinco rounded off the victory.

The Blues' chances were almost dealt an early blow as Mirko Vucinic's clever back-post cross required Petr Cech to pull off a stunning point-blank save from Stephan Lichtsteiner.

The giant Chelsea shot-stopper was at the heart of the action, parrying well from Claudio Marchisio's first-time effort on 15 minutes.

At the other end, Oscar carried Chelsea's threat as he glided past several Juve defenders and released Eden Hazard, who seemed certain to score until Gianluigi Buffon's trailing leg diverted his low shot just wide.

It was not until the 35th minute that Chelsea mustered another clear-cut chance, Brazilian Oscar again threatening but seeing his shot cut off by Leandro Bonucci's well-timed tackle.

The deadlock was broken three minutes later in fortuitous circumstances, Quagliarella diverting Andrea Pirlo's tame 25-yard effort past a sprawling Cech to give Juventus the lead.

Chelsea's defensive line came under question straight after the interval as Gary Cahill appeared to tug the problematic Vucinic to the ground in the penalty area, though no spot-kick was awarded.

The Juventus forwards continued to threaten and Quagliarella had two fine chances to double his haul for the match, but was left ruing the determined goalkeeping of Cech.

The Czech stalwart could not deny Vidal extending the lead, however, the Chilean midfielder pouncing on Kwadwo Asamoah's drive into the box to make it 2-0.

Chelsea continued to chase the game but it was the hosts who looked more dangerous, with Juve sealing the points when substitute Giovinco prodded past Cech.

The result saw Juve leapfrog Roberto Di Matteo's side into second in the group standings, which are lead by Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, who won 5-2 at Nordsjaelland.

Luiz Adriano struck a hat-trick and Willian added a brace for the victors, who trailed on two occasions after Morten Nordstrand and Kasper Lorentzen had given the Danes the lead.

Shakhtar top the standings on 10 points with one match remaining, while Juventus are a point back in second and third-placed Chelsea on seven points.

Nordsjaelland sit in last on one point.

Article

Capello blasts ´slow´ Torres

20 November 2012 16:08

Russia coach Fabio Capello believes Chelsea striker Fernando Torres 'is slowly losing it'.

Caprello highlighted his lack of unpredictability and lack of speed for his slump in form.

The under-pressure Spain international has struggled to establish himself since moving to Stamford Bridge for 50 million pounds in January 2011.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo recently revealed he had considered dropping Torres for Tuesday's vital Champions League game against Juventus, with Daniel Sturridge tipped to take his place as the focal point of their attack.

Capello told Italia 2: "Fernando Torres is slowly losing it. I don't know what is happening because he was very good when Rafael Benitez was the Liverpool manager.

"But he has not found inspiration (at Chelsea) and scored the goals that used to distinguish him. Before, he was unpredicatbale with Liverpool but now defences manage to beat him for speed and this is worrying."

Chelsea's trip to Juventus is important to both sides' chances of progressing, and Capello believes Juve can beating the reigning European Champions.

He added: "Juventus can beat Chelsea, they have to pay attention to the three Blues offensive midfielder.
"(Mirko) Vucinic can make the difference, he's the best Juventus striker but we have to be patient with (Sebastian) Giovinco, he can become like Zola."

The 66-year-old also spoke of about his sudden exit as England coach earlier this year, adding: "The reason I left England was to defend Terry. English people are too moralist - they want people to behave in a certain way, and then they take hasty decisions like that (Terry) who was later acquitted.

"My intention is to end my career when my contract with Russia terminates.

"If there’s an interesting project I could change my plans but nowadays I can't see anything interesting."

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Dalla Bona backs Juve over Chelsea

20 November 2012 14:06

Samuele Dalla Bona is confident Juventus can beat Chelsea in Tuesday's Champions League Group E clash.

The Turin side are third, trailing their opponents by one point, and Dalla Bona believes they could leapfrog the Blues in the table on Tuesday.

"In my opinion, Juventus can beat Chelsea. It's true that Chelsea have a great team and that they have more international experience. However, Juve are the most English side of all the non-English teams," Dalla Bona told Goal.com.

"They play at a very high pace, always pressuring their opponents and are very physical. I expect an entertaining encounter. It will not be easy, but I believe that Juventus in the end have a good chance of being victorious."

The former Chelsea man then went on to praise the Bianconeri's midfield, and singled out Andrea Pirlo as the player who could make all the difference.

"For me, Juventus have one of the best midfields in the world with Pirlo, Vidal and Marchisio," Dalla Bona said.

"Chelsea have a strong midfield as well, though. That's where the game will be decided, and Pirlo could be decisive.

"He has made a step up in quality since he was turned into a deep-lying playmaker by (Carlo) Mazzone. He was already strong as a trequartista, but he's simply excellent in his current position. He always plays at a high level. He's a phenomenon."

Dalla Bona played for Chelsea between 1998 and 2002, before returning to his native country and joining AC Milan.

Article

Di Matteo promises to attack Juventus

20 November 2012 01:33

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has vowed his side will attack Juventus in their Champions League clash on Tuesday.

The Blues have been praised for their dogged defensive displays in Europe, a feat which saw them overcome Barcelona and Bayern Munich on the way to winning the trophy last season.

The Stamford Bridge side have been in poor form domestically - taking just two points from a possible 12 - but the Italian manager insists his side will take the game to their hosts.

"It will be a difficult game, but Juventus are under pressure as well," he told reporters.

"Our intention is to cause Juventus problems, so certainly we will attack as well as defend.

"There was frustration on Saturday and we owe ourselves a good performance. In the past the players showed they can be counted on."

The former Chelsea player revealed Ashley Cole will be available after recovering from a hamstring injury, but refused to reveal any further information on his starting XI.

"Ashley Cole is available to play," he said.

"The defensive focus of the team will be very important tomorrow," he added.

"I feel confident. I have a good team and we know we have to play a big game tomorrow.

"I will see how the players are in training and then I will make my final selection decisions."

Meanwhile, Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio has underlined the importance of the match - but remains confident that they can beat the European champions.

The Serie A leaders currently sit third in Group E with six points from four matches, one point behind Chelsea.

And the Italy international is aware that the battle against the Blues will be decisive.

"It's the biggest game of the year for us," the 26-year-old said on Monday.

"We have ended up in one of the toughest sections of this year's Champions League and we will be facing the defending European champions.

"Perhaps Chelsea have more experience as far as the Champions League is concerned, given that we haven't played in this competition for a few years."

However, the midfielder believes that his side's quality and attitude can overcome the visitors' hunger for another successful campaign.

"There are many experienced international players in our squad and we're prepared," he said.

"We're possibly approaching this game at the best possible moment, because we reacted well to the defeat against Inter."

Article

Di Matteo promises Chelsea attack

19 November 2012 21:42

Manager Roberto Di Matteo vowed Chelsea will attack Juventus in Tuesday's Champions League clash, but remained silent on team selection.

The Blues have been praised for their dogged defensive displays in Europe, a feat which saw them overcome Barcelona and Bayern Munich on the way to winning the trophy earlier in 2012.

However, the Stamford Bridge side have been in poor form domestically, taking just two points from a possible 12, but the Italian manager has insisted his side will take the game to their Turin hosts.

"It will be a difficult game, but Juventus are under pressure as well," Di Matteo told reporters on Monday.

"Our intention is to cause Juventus problems, so certainly we will attack as well as defend.

"There was frustration on Saturday [in their defeat at West Brom] and we owe ourselves a good performance. In the past the players showed they can be counted on."

Di Matteo revealed Ashley Cole would be available after recovering from a hamstring injury, but refused to reveal any further information on his starting XI.

"Ashley Cole is available to play. The defensive focus of the team will be very important tomorrow," he said.

"I feel confident. I have a good team and we know we have to play a big game tomorrow. I will see how the players are in training and then I will make my final selection decisions."

The Blues currently sit second in Group E, level on points with Shakhtar Donetsk and one point ahead of the Bianconeri.

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UEFA Champions League Group E preview: Crucial clash for Chelsea, Juve

19 November 2012 08:13

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres could be dropped to the bench for Tuesday's crunch Champions League tie with Juventus.

The Spaniard came off 28 minutes from the end of Chelsea's disappointing 2-1 loss at West Brom on Saturday after yet another fruitless afternoon in front of goal.

And with manager Roberto Di Matteo contemplating a change in system for the crucial clash at Juventus Stadium, Torres may be the man left out.

"Maybe we need to sacrifice a little bit the attacking options to go a little bit more defensive," Di Matteo said after the West Brom loss.

"We are playing a little bit different but we may have to go a little bit back to win games.

Group E is one of the most evenly poised of the eight pools, with Shakhtar Donetsk top on seven points from Chelsea and Juventus (both six).

A win for Di Matteo's side in Italy would ensure their progression to the last 16 ahead of the final round of fixtures.

The Blues looked far more dangerous at The Hawthorns when Daniel Sturridge replaced Torres, while the introduction of Oscar and Juan Mata also saw an improvement, yet Juventus away will pose a greater threat than in-form West Brom.

Antonio Conte's side are top of Serie A, having lost just one league game in their past 52.

Juventus dominated Lazio in a 0-0 draw on Saturday, with only goalkeeper Federico Marchetti sparing the visitors from defeat.

Likewise for Shakhtar, a win against Nordsjaelland (one point) would guarantee their spot in the next round.

The Ukrainian side have impressed as much as any in this year's competition, surprising many with their command of the group.

Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano is being tracked by a host of Premier League clubs but his primary goal will be firing Shakhtar into the next round when they face the Danish side in Cophenhagen on Tuesday.

Mircea Lucescu's side were desperately unlucky to go down 3-2 to Chelsea on the last matchday after a lion-hearted display at Stamford Bridge.

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Di Matteo hints at dropping Torres

19 November 2012 01:35

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has hinted that he may drop Fernando Torres for the Champions League clash with Juventus on Tuesday.

The Spain international has scored just one goal in six weeks and was part of an underwhelming Chelsea side that succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday.

And in a move which suggests that the profligacy is becoming a concern, Di Matteo admitted he has to explore all possible options to rectify the situation even if it means dropping his star striker.

"We will have to assess the whole team and see how everybody is, and how they have recovered," he said.

"But if I believe it is the right thing to do for the team, then yeah, I will leave him out.

"I thought when we moved Daniel (Sturridge) up there he looked a danger (against West Brom). He had a very good chance saved by the keeper and another put wide.

"He was always a threat to the defence - we need to score goals."

The European champions currently sit top of Group E, but with only a point separating first- and third-placed teams.

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Bonucci: We need to beat Chelsea

18 November 2012 16:44

Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci believes Juventus must beat Chelsea when the two teams meet in Italy on Tuesday night.

Juve are one point behind the Blues and Shakhtar Donetsk in Champions League Group E, with two games left to play.

The Italian international thinks three points must be pursued in the midweek match, and insists Roberto Di Matteo's side being defeated by West Brom on Saturday makes no difference to the challenge facing Juve.

"From now on we think about Chelsea, as at this moment it is the most important test. We want to go through to the next phase of the Champions League," Bonucci told reporters.

"Chelsea lost to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, but that doesn’t change anything as far as we are concerned. On Tuesday we must step on to the pitch to win."

The reigning Serie A champions have not had things all their own way this weekend either, having been held to a goalless draw by Lazio thanks to a superb individual performance from Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti.

"It was a great Juve performance and we were the only team on the field. Lazio never had a shot on target and Marchetti was man of the match," Bonucci said.

"Obviously we are angry, as we are bringing home one point instead of the three we actually deserved. We lacked precision in front of goal and I could've scored too, but I hit the crossbar."

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 7 +11 19
2 7 +10 18
3 7 +5 15
4 7 +6 14
5 7 +3 13

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 8 +15 22
2 8 +10 17
3 8 +14 16
4 8 +4 13
5 8 +1 13