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Football

Ruthless Chelsea demolish Juventus in the Champions League

Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah marked his first Champions League start with a goal as Chelsea stormed into the round of 16 with an emphatic 4-0 win over Juventus to go top of Group H.

The reigning champions only needed a point to qualify and they outclassed Juve at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday to replace them at the top of Group H with one game to play.

Chalobah opened the scoring controversially after Antonio Rudiger appeared to have handled in the penalty area from a Ziyech corner and the Premier League leaders were cruising high in the second half, with goals from the classy Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi putting them in command.

Chelsea 4-0 Juventus

Chelsea players in celebration after Trevoh Chalobah scored the opener against Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday, 23 November 2021 at Stamford Bridge. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Thomas Tuchel’s side was in cruise control as they made it 10 games without defeat and Timo Werner rounded off a ruthless win when he added a fourth with the last kick of the game – coming back from injury, although they lost Ben Chilwell to a knee injury after N’Golo Kante was also forced off with a knock.

Chelsea started as a side full of confidence and the dangerous Reece James forced a save from Wojciech Szczesny with a free-kick from a tight angle.

Chalobah opened the scoring in stunning fashion 25 minutes in, firing in on the half-volley with his right foot from eight yards out after it seemed the ball had struck Rudiger’s arm when Hakim Ziyech whipped in a corner.

Thiago Silva showed great awareness to race back and keep the Blues in front with a desperate last-ditch clearance to deny former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata, who had dinked the ball over the advancing Edouard Mendy.

Kante was withdrawn eight minutes before the break, Ruben Loftus-Cheek replacing him, but they continued to dominate following the interval and took complete control with two goals in the space of three minutes.

James controlled the ball on his chest before beating Szczesny with a rasping right-foot drive after Leonardo Bonucci headed Chilwell’s cross into his path.

Chelsea 4 - 0 Juventus

Chelsea wing-back Reece James celebrates after scoring the second for Chelsea against Juventus at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday 23, November 2021. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Hudson-Odoi then applied the finish with his left foot from close range, with Loftus-Cheek having shown great footwork before setting the winger up.

Szczesny denied Ziyech with a fine reflex save, but James was involved again as a fit-again substitute Werner put the icing on the cake when he finished from close range as Juve lost their perfect Champions League record this season.

Chelsea maintained their ominous form as they toyed with Juve in a one-sided encounter and they have not been beaten since a loss to the Serie A side in September.

They will travel to Zenit for their last group game ahead of the Bianconeri due to their head-to-head record and knowing a win will secure the top spot, while Juve will be expected to beat Malmo at the Allianz Stadium.

Tuchel will be concerned about an injury sustained by Chilwell, who looked in a lot of pain as he made his way off the pitch after landing awkwardly, and will hope Kante is not facing another lay-off ahead of a Premier League match against Manchester United on Sunday.

Chelsea has splashed the cash over the years, but their academy graduates are playing a huge part in their success.

England wing-back James was magnificent yet again and is the Blues’ leading scorer this season with five goals, while also having five assists to his name.

Mohamed Salah (16 goals, seven assists) is the only other player for a Premier League club to have at least five goals and assist five or more on.

Cuadrado failed to make an impact during his time at Chelsea and he suffered a miserable return. Hudson-Odoi gave the Colombia international a hard time before he was replaced late on.

Chelsea faces another tough home match against troubled Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday. Juve will also be at home against fourth-placed Atalanta at the Allianz Stadium in Serie A on the day before.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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