For a short while, it looked like Oscar was having a dream debut in the Champions League, scoring two first half goals, including one perfect and memorable one to give Chelsea a 2-goal lead. Alas, Juventus were serious when they declared they were coming to Stamford Bridge to score, coming back with an Arturo Vidal goal and later on a Fabio Quagliarella equalizer in the second half, endning the match at 2-2.
Roberto Di Matteo finally gave Oscar a start, instead of an exhausted Juan Mata. While Oscar isn’t exactly a second striker or winger like Mata, he did well in the few touches he did get, while most of the game moved through Ramires, Fernando Torres and Eden Hazard. Dangerous, but not enough to beat the three centre back defense of Juventus.
Eventually, a lucky bounce is all that is needed to make things happen. While Juventus struggled to create anything due to the fact that both Andrea Pirlo and Mirko Vucinic were marked closely, Chelsea struggled with finding a clear way towards the goal. After 31 minutes, his shot hit Leonardo Bonucci’s outstretched leg, an own goal expert, denying Gianluigi Buffon an easy stop and giving Chelsea the lead.
Two minutes later, it was all Oscar. He got the ball with his back at the goal, and didn’t wait with a spin and a shot that caught everyone, including Buffon in a day that wasn’t his best, curling wonderfully into the top of the net. The problem was Chelsea stopped stopping Juventus from actually playing.
Juventus decided to give up on using Pirlo, and both Marchisio and Arturo Vidal became much more invlolved, resulting in Vidal’s goal late in the first half to make sure everyone knew this was far from over.
Second half – more of the same from Juventus, getting closer and closer to a second goal. Vidal, who seemed to be limping all match, was much more involved, along with the fantastic Asamoah in the second half, which helped subdue the already mediocre Chelsea midfield, and get Vucinic and Giovinco much more looks at goal. Problem is Giovinco looked like a little boy playing a man’s game while Vucinic struggled on his own. The introduction of Quagliarella instead of Giovinco changed things.
He was much harder for John Terry to track and handle, eventually scoring the deserved equalizer for the better team in the second half, as Chelsea seemed to forget about quick passing and simply went with long balls, hoping that Eden Hazard works it out on his own, which he didn’t. Mata and Bertrand couldn’t make a mark on the match.
Pleased? Juve were probably happier with the draw, making their return to the biggest stage in Europe with an impressive comeback in a performance that could have gone much better. For Chelsea, they may have discovered Oscar, but Roberto Di Matteo has plenty of problems in his side, especially when it comes to playing against quality midfield and actually implementing a dominante gameplan which involves attacking and controlling the ball most of the match.