From Stamford Bridge – Chelsea secured their place in the Champions League last 16 with an utterly dominant 4-0 victory over Serie A giants Juventus on Tuesday night.
The Blues dictated the first half against a Bianconeri side who had seemingly come for the draw. Having controlled possession without really creating anything, Chelsea burst into life midway through the half.
Wojciech Szczesny made a good save as Reece James tried to catch him out with a whipped free kick to the near post, and from the resulting corner Trevoh Chalobah popped up to lash a loose ball into the top corner on the half-volley.
After a VAR review for a push on Leonardo Bonucci and a handball by Antonio Rudiger, the goal stood.
Juventus were so nearly level just three minutes later, but Thiago Silva’s stunning goal-line clearance denied former Chelsea man Alvaro Morata after he had lifted the ball over the onrushing Edouard Mendy.
James tested Szczesny again before the break, chesting the ball down and firing a venomous shot that the Pole tipped around the post.
Chelsea pressed home their advantage ten minutes after the break, with James controlling a clearance on his chest before thumping home an almost identical shot to the one saved before half-time.
Three minutes later it was 3-0. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was the creator, weaving his was through the Juventus back line before laying it on a plate for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who gleefully side-footed home in acres of space.
There were late chances for either side as Edourd Mendy was forced into his only real save, tipping Weston McKennie’s shot over, before Szczesny did well to divert Hakim Ziyech’s low effort round the post.
Chelsea rounded off the scoring in stoppage time. James was involved again with a ludicrous cross-field pass to Ziyech, who put a perfect low ball across the box for Timo Werner to tap in.
The Blues needed to win by two goals to go top of Group H – they did just that and more.
Here’s how the players rated…
Edouard Mendy (GK) – 7/10 – Surprisingly had very little to do, but was helped out by Silva’s intervention. Another clean sheet.
Trevoh Chalobah (CB) – 8/10 – First-half header narrowly wide. Always turning his head to keep an eye on Chiesa. Striker’s finish to make it 1-0.
Thiago Silva (CB) – 8/10 – Absolutely incredible goal-line clearance to deny Morata. So athletic. Staunch throughout.
Antonio Rüdiger (CB) – 7/10 – Just brilliant again. Didn’t have to do much defensively, but carried the ball forward and passed through the lines.
Reece James (RWB) – 9/10 – Forced two really good saves in the first period, demonstrating his attacking prowess. Didn’t shirk his defensive duties though, not giving Juve’s left side an inch. Ridiculous technique for the second, chesting down and smashing home. Fantastic pass in the build-up to the fourth. Complete player.
Jorginho (CM) – 7/10 – Important early intervention to deny Chiesa. Neat and tidy, no frills. Subbed.
N’Golo Kante (CM) – 6/10 – Ubiquitous as usual before he was forced off with an injury.
Ben Chilwell (LWB) – 7/10 – Got forward well to support Hudson-Odoi and peg Juan Cuadrado back. Picked up a nasty looking injury after the break.
Hakim Ziyech (RF) – 7/10 – Kept popping up centrally in the first period looking to make things happen, but forced it a bit. Grew into the game and was such a threat after half-time. Excellent low assist for Werner.
Christian Pulisic (CF) – 6/10 – His hold-up play left a lot to be desired. Touch let him down on several occasions. Not quite his day. Subbed.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (LF) – 8/10 – Always a threat and looked supremely confident. Got the goal he deserved, side-footing in after Loftus-Cheek’s mazy dribble. Subbed.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CM) – 7/10 – Wonderful assist for Hudson-Odoi, leaving the Juventus defence in his wake. All-action in his tackling and ball-carrying.
Cesar Azpilicueta (LWB) – 6/10 – Solid as ever.
Timo Werner (ST) – 7/10 – Looked dangerous. Simple tap-in off the bench. Good to see him back.
Mason Mount (LF) – 6/10 – Busy, but the attacking work was done by the time he came on.
Saul Niguez (CM) – 6/10 – Nice cameo for him in a big game.
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – 6/10 – Two good saves in the first half. Could perhaps have done better with a couple of the goals. Another top late save from Ziyech’s effort.
Juan Cuadrado (RB) – 6/10 – Helped his side get a grip on the game. Booked for a clumsy foul on Hudson-Odoi. Eventually subbed.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – 6/10 – Some loose passes out from the back and went to ground far too easily just before the opener. One of many mugged off for Hudson-Odoi’s finish.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – 6/10 – Important block to stop Hudson-Odoi after the break. His loose header was banged in by James.
Alex Sandro (LB) – 6/10 – Struggled against James all night long and wasn’t really able to attack either.
Weston McKennie (RM) – 6/10 – Put himself about, but to little avail. Just not a winger.
Rodrigo Bentancur (CM) – 5/10 – Planted a half-chance over on the stroke of half-time. Barely did anything else before being sacrificed for Paulo Dybala.
Manuel Locatelli (CM) – 6/10 – Really classy player. Great pass to put Morata in. Faded thereafter. Subbed.
Adrien Rabiot (LM) – 6/10 – Also struggled against James. Just absolutely no match physically.
Alvaro Morata (ST) – 5/10 – Probably couldn’t believe he hadn’t scored when Silva slid in to deny him. Subbed. A performance reminiscent of his time at Stamford Bridge.
Federico Chiesa (ST) – 5/10 – Kept supremely quiet for the most part, which was key. Subbed.
Paulo Dybala (ST) – 5/10 – Thrown on but couldn’t affect things.
Moise Kean (ST) – N/A – Barely touched it.
Arthur (CM) – 6/10 – Never likely to be a game-changer.
Dejan Kulusevski (LW) – N/A