Chelsea's defense of its European crown was left in tatters in Turin on Tuesday night as Juventus put the Blues to the sword in a convincing 3-0 win.
A first half goal from Fabio Quagliarella was doubled by Arturo Vidal's second-half strike, before Sebastian Giovinco rounded off the win, ensuring Juventus leapfrogs Roberto Di Matteo's team and leaves the holder one game away from elimination.
The Blues' chances were almost dealt a terrible blow after just four minutes as Mirko Vucinic's clever back post cross required Petr Cech to pull off a stunning point blank save from Stephan Lichtsteiner to turn it onto the post and to safety.
The giant Chelsea shot stopper, who has rediscovered the form that made him one of the most sought after goalkeepers on the planet, 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 burst from the left flank to the middle, taking two Juventus defenders out of the game as he glided horizontally across the box. His final ball released Eden Hazard, who seemed certain to score until Gianluigi Buffon's trailing leg diverted his low shot just wide. It was to prove Chelsea's best chance of the match.
As the game settled, it wasn't until the 35th minute that Chelsea mustered another clear cut chance. Ramires burst through a couple of challenges in midfield and released Oscar into the box. The Brazilian forward was only stopped by Leandro Bonucci's well-timed tackle as he cut back onto his right foot.
Then, minutes later, the deadlock was broken and it certainly had a touch of fortune about it as Fabio Quagliarella diverted Pirlo's tame 25-yard effort past a hapless, sprawling Cech to give Juventus the lead. It was the Italian striker's sixth goal in six games.
And it was nearly 2-0 immediately afterwards but for Ashley Cole's alert goal line clearance as Lichtsteiner headed past Cech.
As if prompted by the threat on its own goal, Chelsea responded. Hazard outpaced the Juve defense and squared to an unmarked Juan Mata, but by the time he had controlled the ball, Buffon had smothered him.
Roberto Di Matteo sent the same XI back onto the pitch for the second half, ensuring the benched Fernando Torres continued to look on, but it was his defensive line that came under question as Gary Cahill appeared to tug the problematic Vucinic to the ground. Fortunately for the visitors Cuneyt Cakir chose to wave play on rather than signal for a penalty.
The Juventus frontline continued to trouble Chelsea and Quagliarella had two fine chances to double his haul for the evening, but he was left ruing the determined goalkeeping of Cech.
But as Di Matteo chased the game, introducing Victor Moses for Cesar Azpilicueta, Juventus struck again. Vucinic's pass allowed Kwadwo Asamoah to drive into the box and his cutback fell for Vidal, who saw his 20-yard shot deflect off of Ramires' heel and through the legs of Cech. It was the 20th goal the Stamford Bridge outfit had conceded in 10 games.
Chelsea continued to chase, finally introducing Torres for John Obi Mikel but it was the hosts who looked more dangerous, Vucinic criminally knocking a shot from 10 yards out over the crossbar. But as the clock rolled into injury time, substitute Giovinco prodded past Cech to cap a fine night in the Juventus Stadium.
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