AT STAMFORD BRIDGE
CHELSEA 2 vs JUVENTUS 2
CHELSEA manager Roberto Di Matteo last night heralded the arrival of Brazilian youngster Oscar after he scored twice on his Champions League debut, but castigated the careless defending that saw the holders squander a two-goal advantage in their Group E opener.
Oscar, a £25m summer signing from Internacional, beat Gianluigi Buffon with two long-range efforts -- the first with an element of accident, the second by glorious design -- in the space of three first-half minutes as the Blues threatened Juventus with a rare defeat.
But Arturo Vidal’s precise drive ensured the Italian champions stayed in touch and, 10 minutes from time, substitute Fabio Quagliarella pounced on lapses by John Obi Mikel and experienced captain John Terry to slot a deserved equaliser through the legs of Petr Cech.
“It was a great debut for Oscar,” Di Matteo said of the 21-year-old’s first start. “He scored two goals and the second one was wonderful. He was perfect tonight with the tactical information we gave him. It is great to see that we have a player like that in our ranks.”
Di Matteo could not hide his displeasure that Mikel's carelessness in possession allowed Claudio Marchisio to expose Terry's reliance on the offside trap and release Quagliarella to complete the comeback.
“We feel disappointed and a little deflated that we found ourselves in a fantastic position to win this game and we came away only with a draw,” he added. “We should have dealt with it a little bit better. There was no pressure on the ball and it was pretty difficult to play offside.”
Juventus, who won the Serie A title last season without losing and remain unbeaten after four games this term, bared their teeth twice in the opening half hour, Claudio Marchisio springing the offside trap and drawing a smothered save from Petr Cech, and then Mirko Vucinic slicing wide when unattended.
Yet by the 33rd minute Chelsea were two goals ahead, Oscar opening his account with a speculative shot from 25 yards that ricocheted off Bonucci’s outstretched leg and over Buffon, and then immediately following it with a two-touch wonder, outfoxing his marker with a deft flick before curling into the top right corner.
Stung, the Italians champions swarmed forward and landed a vital psychological blow seven minutes before the interval, when Arturo Vidal, Juve’s most consistent attacking threat, engineered space on the edge of the area to drive a measured shot low past Cech into the bottom right corner.
The winger Eden Hazard was vexed not to be awarded a spot-kick after tumbling under Barzagli -- “It’s a penalty. The referee didn’t do much on many challenges,” said Di Matteo – but action was otherwise scant at both ends until the lively Quagliarella escaped a leaden Terry, following a woefully clumsy pass from midfielder Mikel, gambolled onto Marchisio’s through-ball and nutmegged Cech.
The same striker beat Cech again when striking against the bar at the end, but Chelsea survived to draw.