Match report: Juventus 1-2 Chelsea
Women’s Champions League: Goals from terrier-like forward Erin Cuthbert and a rampant Pernille Harder earned Chelsea their first win in the Champions League group stage following a tight defeat of Juventus in Turin, writes Suzanne Wrack.
Elsewhere in Group A: Wolfsburg went top of the group with four points after swatting Swiss side Servette aside 5-0 earlier. They’relevel with Chelsea on points but ahead on goal difference. Juventus sit a point behind both teams on three, while Servette have yet to get off the mark.
Full-time: Juventus 1-2 Chelsea
Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! It’s all over in Turin, where Chelsea have held on to take the three points against their hosts. Pernille Harder got the second-half winner after the sides had swapped goals in the opening 45 minutes.
90+6 min: Berger’s timely finger injury has destroyed any momentum Juve might have had. It’s all over.
90+4 min: Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger is down with one glove off, showing her “injured” finger to the referee. Juve’s fans are unimpressed with what they see as blatant time-wasting. They boo, jeer and whistle accordingly.
90+1 min: We’re 33% into time added on with Chelsea hanging on to their lead. Juve knock the ball forward in search of an equaliser. Bonfantini gets in behind down the right, drills a cross to the near post from the byline and Berger fumbles it out for a corner. Juve fail to clear the first defender on the near post with the corner. Poor.
90 min: Juventus corner. The ball is floated in and goalkeeper Berger gathers. She drops to the ground, in no hurry to kick the ball downfield.
87 min: Corner for Chelsea after Ingle has a shot blocked and deflected wide. Juventus substittuion: Annahita Zamanian on for Sofie Junge, who looks stricken with cramp and has to be helped off the pitch. Nothing comes of the set-piece.
86 min: All those substitutions have ruined whatever momentum was in this game, a state of affairs that won’t bother Emma Hayes one jot.
83 min: Chelsea substitution: defending’s Jonna Andersson on for Frank Kirby as Emma Hayes tries to shore up her defence for the knockings.
80 min: Juventus double-substituion: Andrea Staskova and Arianna Caruso on for Cristiana Girelli and Martina Rosucci.
75 min: Chelsea substitution: Sophie Ingle on for So-Yun Ji. Juventus substitution: Martina Lenzini on for Cecila Salvai.
74 min: A brilliant save from Juve goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, who dives to her right, sticks up an arm and gets a strong hand to a goalbound Sam Kerr shot from distance. She somehow tips the ball on to the woodwork and out to safety. Superb goalkeeping. Honestly, if Lionel Messi had done that, you’d be saying: “Why is he playing in goal for the Juventus women’s team?”
70 min: Still reeling from going behind, Juventus drive forward. Lina Hurtig shoots into the side-netting.
GOAL! Juventus 1-2 Chelsea (Harder 69)
Chelsea re-take the lead. Kerr and Kirby combine through the centre and on the edge of the Juve penalty area. The ball is blocked but breaks to Pernille Harder and she rifles home from 15 yards or so.
68 min: Chelsea substituion: Jessie Fleming on for Erin Cuthbert.
65 min: Juventus free-kick, a couple of yards outside the Chelsea penalty area ... almost dead centre. Valentina Cernoia shoots low, hard and a couple of yards wide of the left post. Close but no cigar.
64 min: A cross into the Chelsea box from Juventus. Girelli looks to have a free header on the edge of the six-yard box but can’t get her head to the ball.
62 min: Juventus attack on the break with Cristiana Girelli on the ball. The ball’s crossed into the centre, Chelsea goalkeeper Berger flaps under pressure from Lina Hurtig and Jess Carter hacks clear to avert the danger.
60 min: Pernille Harder rifles a low drive wide of the upright as Chelsea seek to assert their dominance.
59 min: The ball drops kindly for Chelsea’s Meanie Leupolz on the edge of the Juve area but the midfielder volleys high over the bar.
54 min: Chelsea attack on the counter and Pernille Harder curls a low shot from 20 yards a foot or two wide of the near upright.
53 min: There’s a big appeal for a Juventus penalty as Girelli goes down under what looks like a nudge in the back from Magdelna Eriksson. The ref is having none of it and has no VAR to consult. Video refereeing won’t be introduced in this tournament until the knockout stages.
50 min: For Chelsea, Pernille Harder plays the wall wide to Guro Reiten in midfield and sprints up the inside left looking for a return pass which is intercepted. Juventus clear their lines.
48 min: Nothing of note to report early doors in this second half. Chelsea certainly not having it all their own way, despite being white-hot favourites to win this game.
Second half: Juventus 1-1 Chelsea
46 min: Play resumes with no changes in personnel on either side.
Barry needs a winter coat ...
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Half-time: Juventus 1-1 Chelsea
Peep! It’s all square at the break in Turin, where Chelsea went ahead thanks to a fine solo effort from Erin Cuthbert shortly after the half-hour, only to be pegged back by a fine finish from Juve’s Barbara Bonansea within eight minutes.
45 min: Dithering in the Juventus ranks as goalkeeper Peyraud-Magnim dilly-dallies over a clearance, panics and hoofs the ball into the path of Sam Kerr. The Chelsea striker blocks the ball but it rolls wide of the upright. “STICK IT IN ROW Z!”
43 min: Fran Kirby protests after being penalised for a foul on Lina Hurtig just outside the Juve penalty area.
39 min: Chelsea get forward, attacking down the right flank with Bright and Kerr taking turns on the ball. They’re passing and probing ... looking for an opening, or to get the ball into the Juve penalty area from wide. It’s not happening for them at the moment.
GOAL! Juventus 1-1 Chelsea (Bonansea 37)
Woeful from Chelsea. A terrific cross from the left to the far post is met on the volley and poked home from 10 yards by Barbara Bonansea, who held off Guro Butin and got in front of her marker to smash the ball home.
33 min: For Juventus, Lina Hurtig finds herself in behind the defence advancing on the Chelsea goal. She takes a touch too many, has the ball tipped off her toe by the frantically backpedalling Jess Carter, can’t get a shot off on goal and eventually runs out of road. Great defending.
GOAL! Juventus 0-1 Chelsea (Cuthbert 31)
Chelsea lead! Erin Cuthbert cuts inside from the right, drives forward past her marker and slots into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.
28 min: Juventus get forward in a two-on-two on the counter. They’re a little too slow and Chelsea get back in numbers to put a stop to their collective gallop.
26 min: Replays suggest Carter would have been harshly done by to get carded for the aforementioned challenge. Both players seemed to be impeding each other and referee Ivana Martinic probably got it right.
24 min: Chelsea’s Jessica Carter escapes a booking or - whisper it - a red card, for dragging back Juve’s Lina Hurtig as she looked through on goal. Moments later Millie Bright shots high and wide at the other end of the pitch.
22 min: From a free-kick inside the Juve half, Martina Rosucci flicks the ball forwards. Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Beger gathewrs.
21 min: Juve No10 Cristiana Girelli tries to send a cross from the inside right into the Chelsea penalty area. It’s cleared. Chelsea are under the cosh here, against a team they’re expected to beat comfortably.
18 min: Excellent from Juventus. A cross from the right and a looping header from Barbara Bonansea drops over the cross-bar and lands on the roof of the net. Juventus are massive underdogs tonight but they’re having the better of the play so far.
16 min: Juventus in possession on the left. A cross from deep to the far post, where Cristiana Girelli is lurking. The ball is shepherded out of play for a goal-kick.
13 min: Erin Cuthburt, playing down the right touchline, wins a throw-in for Chelsea. She goes on to play the ball forward into the inside right channel, from where Sam Kerr forces Juventus goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnim into a smartish save from a tightish angle.
12 min: For Chelsea, So-Yun Ji unleashes a low drive from outside the box. The ball arrives at – but doesn’t stick to – the feet of her team-mate Sam Kerr.
9 min: Chelsea’s centre-back Millie Bright fouls Barbara Bonsansea, giving Juve a free-kick on the halfway line. Not much comes of it.
7 min: Chelsea win a corner. A ball sent into the box by Bright is headed clear by Barbara Bonansea, who goes down injured. Free-kick for the Italian side.
5 min: Sam Kerr controls a pass and falls over under pressure from Juve’s Cristina Girelli. A free-kick for Chelsea inside the Juve half, from which nothing comes.
4 min: Pernille Harder plays a long ball from deep through and down the inside right for Sam Kerr to chase. There are two defenders on hand to ensure she can’t get near the ball.
2 min: Chelsea win a free-kick deep in Juve territory. The Italians make a bit of a pig’s ear of clearing the ball ... but get there in the end.
2 min: A decent start from Juve, who get forward, playing through Chelsea’s press.
Juventus v Chelsea is go ...
1 min: Magdalena Eriksson skippers Chelsea tonight and appears to win the toss. The players of both teams take a knee and play begins.
Not long now ...
Both teams line up in the tunnel and are lead out by referee Ivana Martinic and her team of match officials. There are 15,000 fans present.
Group A result: Wolfsburg 5-0 Servette
Ther German side swat aside their Swiss oppositon to move clear at the top of the group for the time being, at least. They have won 10 of their last 11 games in this competition.
Elsewhere in Group A: Two-times Champions League winners Wolfsburg are piling the hurt on Swiss outfit Servette FC Chênois Féminin with six minutes left on the clock in Germany.
Juventus v Chelsea line-ups
Juventus (4-3-3): Peyraud Magnin; Lundorf, Gama, Salvai, Boattin; Rosucci, Pedersen, Cernoia; Bonansea, Girelli, Hurtig
Subs: Aprile, Hyyrynen, Nilden, Stašková, Giai, Zamanian, Caruso, Bonfantini, Beccari, Pfattner, Lenzini
Chelsea (3-4-3): Berger; Bright, Carter, Eriksson; Cuthbert, Leupolz, Ji, Reiten; Kirby, Kerr, Harder
Subs: Musovic, Telford, Nouwen, Ingle, England, Fleming, Mjelde, Charles, Spence, Andersson, Fox
Referee: Ivana Martinčić (Cro)
Not the Champions League: Catch up on all the major talking points from the weekend’s WSL action in our round-up.
Emma Hayes speaks (and she’s always worth a listen)
“This is Italy, it’s an amazing place to play football and an opponent we haven’t played in the Champions League yet,” said Chelsea’s manager. “So I think [there is] intrigue and interest, but a coach that I know very well and I’m looking forward to seeing Joe tomorrow in what is always an epic battle between us both.
“I know we’ve got a dressing room that are really enjoying playing in the Champions League and we’re just looking forward to pitting ourselves against the top team in Italy. I certainly get the most joy from playing against teams I don’t know too much about.
“Obviously I know Joe and I’m looking forward to seeing him tomorrow and saying ‘Hi’ and I’m sure he’ll bring a lot of success to this football club.”
Joe Montemurro speaks
“I’m very excited,” said Juve’s manager, whose Italian parents moved to Melbourne at the end of World War Two. “Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind myself that I’m not a fan, but the coach of Juventus. I have been a big Juventus fan since I was a kid.”
Group A: Juventus v Chelsea
Some atrocious defending cost Chelsea all three points in their Champions League group stage opener against Wolfsburg last week, a series of errors they can’t afford to repeat if they are to come away with a positive result from Turin this evening.
Juventus currently top the group following their routine win over Servette Chenois, who are widely expected to serve the role of whipping boys. Managed by Joe Montemurro, who left Arsenal during the summer, Juventus find themselves on an 11-game winning streak since the start of the season and are looking to add a maiden Champions League to their running tally of four successive domestic titles.
Kick-off at the Juventus Stadium – which will host this season’s Champions League final – is at 8pm (BST) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.