Chelsea vs Juventus: Blues cruise but Chilwell injured
Chelsea is into the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds after smashing Juventus 4-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Timo Werner all scored as USMNT winger Christian Pulisic started at center forward in a decisive win that leaves them level with Juve after five group matches. It might’ve been a six- or seven-goal win if not for Juve backstop Wojciech Szczesny.
Their 12 points are 11 better than Malmo and nine ahead of Zenit St. Petersburg. Chelsea visits Zenit on the last group matchday while Juve hosts Malmo.
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Chelsea left back Ben Chilwell needed help to get off the Stamford Bridge pitch and was steady as it goes prior to the injury. We’ll be sure to relay any updates issued by Thomas Tuchel after the match.
The Blues meet Manchester United this weekend in the Premier League. United beat Villarreal 2-0 earlier Tuesday in Spain.
Three things we learned from Chelsea vs Juventus
1. Pulisic, McKennie get rare spell as opponents: They’ve faced off when stakes are high before, as Borussia Dortmund and Schalke are far from best pals in the Bundesliga, but Tuesday’s tale in Tuesday was the highest-profile match-up of the USMNT’s tight-knit duo. Schalke was on the winning end of two of the four encounters with Dortmund when both players hit the pitch, BVB winning once.
This one, however, was almost all Chelsea from Moment No. 1, and McKennie’s all-action day was rarely matched by his teammates. Pulisic left after 70 minutes at center forward with just 20 touches on the day. McKennie’s team lost but he was a bright spot, loading up with four tackles and four more interceptions.
2. Tuchel shows Jorginho monumental respect: Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea formation at times could best be described as a 3-1-6 or 4-1-5, as Christian Pulisic at center forward was joined in the final third by wingers Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech, and unusually forward N’Golo Kante, and often both wingbacks/wide mids in Reece James and Ben Chilwell. That meant Jorginho was the lone true deep-set midfielder, and he had no problem with that role.
3. Chelsea gets on the board through the kids: Trevoh Chalobah was clinical in cleaning up a corner kick that deflected off a hardly-aware Antonio Rudiger and onto his path, and the center back’s first UCL goal also happened to come from the Blues’ oldest scorer until Timo Werner put the fourth goal on the board and that came deep in stoppage time. Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi’s goals came about two minutes apart, all three markers assisted by veterans in a complete Chelsea victory.
Man of the Match: Reece James
The form of James’ life continues, with three key passes and four fouls drawn as an absolute right-sided menace.