1. Bianconeri’s frontline remained too isolated against a stubborn Chelsea defence
Paulo Dybala made the Juventus squad ahead of the game against Chelsea, giving some signs of optimism that he could well be fit to start the mouthwatering clash. But whether it was a tactical tweak or concerns over La Joya’s wellbeing, Allegri chose not to start the Argentine playmaker.
The teamsheet came out, and it looked like a 4-4-2 from Allegri’s men, with Juventus playing with two forwards in Federico Chiesa and Alvaro Morata. But, owing to the evergrowing pressure of the Chelsea attackers, it soon got transformed into 4-5-1, with Morata now playing as a target man and Chiesa being heavily involved in the team’s defensive actions down the left.
Chelsea’s wing-back system had already kept Alex Sandro on his toes, and it soon became a necessity for Chiesa to get involved in Juve’s defensive actions and subsequently help Sandro on the left flank. Not only did it lessen Juve’s offensive prowess going forward, but it also isolated Alvaro Morata, who has not enjoyed a fine run of form in front of goal this season.
Though, it was Morata who came closest to breaching Chelsea’s rearguard on Tuesday evening. A lob from the Spaniard saw the ball beat the Blues’ Édouard Mendy but a superb last-ditch intervention from Thiago Silva prevented Juve from somehow levelling on the night.
That said, we should also give credit to players such as Silva, Antonio Rüdiger, and Chalobah. They defended extremely well and deservedly earned a clean sheet for their sturdy defensive showing. Chiesa, their nemesis in September, wasn’t given the space to thrive, while Morata was a non-entity barring that one big chance.