From Massimiliano Allegri kicking the air in frustration to Federico Chiesa dropping a masterclass, Allianz Stadium was the place to be on Wednesday night. Finally, a vintage Juventus turned up.
Starting the game as the underdogs, the Bianconeri proved why it was not rational to write them off beforehand, albeit against the current European champions in Chelsea.
Just one goal from Federico Chiesa decided the fate of the match. The 1-0 victory means Juventus are now at the top of their respective group by the end of the second round of group stage matches in the Champions League. The Old Lady has now amassed six points from two games, which is excellent — considering the poor start to their domestic campaign.
It was collectively wholesome from Max Allegri’s men, with Juventus now marching towards the Derby della Mole to encounter Torino on Saturday afternoon. But before that, let us take a look at the three key takeaways from Juventus’ emphatic win over Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.
3. Matthijs De Ligt and Leonardo Bonucci were monumental
After the confirmation of Chelsea’s starting line-up, the plan, tailored by Thomas Tuchel, became obvious. A starting XI devoid of Mason Mount’s services saw Hakim Ziyech starting the game at the number ten position. Ahead of the Moroccan, there were those feared across Europe — Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz.
Dominant in the air and renowned for their physical robustness, both Havertz and Lukaku were designated with operating the attacking engine for the Stamford Bridge faithful. The plan, as mentioned before, was obvious: get the ball to the wing-backs and shower crosses into the box; one or another would certainly find a towering header.
Statistics from Sofascore shows Chelsea were successful in getting the ball to their wing-backs, with César Azpilicueta starting the game on the right flank and Marcos Alonso doing the same down the left.
The deliveries into the box from those wing-backs, however, were not up to the required standard, or it can be said that Juventus nullified the threat by blocking those crosses and sometimes beating the likes of Lukaku and Havertz in the air.
The Chelsea wing-backs completed only nine out of 34 crosses attempted against Juventus with an unconventional success ratio of 26 per cent. The pairing of Matthijs De Ligt and Leonardo Bonucci deserve some additional credit for letting Chelsea have just one shot on target. It is pretty immense for a club that has not had a single clean sheet in the last 20 league games.
In naked eyes, the Dutchman was more dominant out of the two, making four clearances, two tackles and blocking one shot. But statistically, Bonucci was colossal, with the Italian centre-half completing three clearances, blocking three shots and notching four interceptions.
If not anyone, Lukaku and Havertz would remember the two defenders and surely store the timid memories of the Wednesday night inside the drawer labelled as “failures”.