Fabio Quagliarella came off the bench to grab a late equalizer for Juventus as they drew 2-2 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
It was a fine way for the Italian champions to celebrate their return for the Champions League as they came from two goals behind to deny the competition's holders an opening three points.
Oscar looked like being the hero for the Blues as he marked his first start for the club with two first-half goals. But Arturo Vidal pulled one back before the break before Quagliarella’s late intervention.
While the home side had plenty of the play early on, it was Juventus who created the best of the chances in the opening exchanges.
Just past the 20 minute mark, Juventus beat Chelsea’s offside trap with a long pass over the top from Andrea Barzagli to find Claudio Marchisio in the clear, who took it down but found the ball immediately taken off his foot by the quick to react Petr Cech.
An even better chance fell the way of Mirko Vucinic minutes later. Branislav Ivanovic gave the ball away to Arturo Vidal inside his own half and the Chilean broke forward took advantage of an out of position Chelsea defense to find Vucinic, but the forward put his shot disappointingly wide at the near post.
Juventus were made to pay for their profligacy as out of nowhere Chelsea gained a stranglehold on proceedings. Eden Hazard fed the ball across to Oscar in a central position 25 yards out, and the Brazilian’s shot took a wicked deflection off Leonardo Bonucci to sail over the dive of Buffon.
There was nothing lucky about Oscar’s second goal less than two minutes later. The recent signing from Internacional hit in an instant shot on the turn from 20 yards that curled right into the top corner to leave Buffon with no chance.
Juventus were not ready to lie down, though, and produced an almost immediate response. Marchisio laid the ball into the impressive Vidal on the edge of the box and the Chilean took the ball away from two defenders before firing a low left-footed effort into the corner of the net.
Buffon was forced into a couple of good saves early in the second half first from Ivanovic and then a Frank Lampard free-kick.
Chelsea felt aggrieved not to have been given a penalty too as Hazard tumbled under the challenge of Barzagli from behind, but the referee decided that the contact had been accidental.
For much of the second half, though, Chelsea appeared content to focus on maintaining their lead. In a rare attacking foray Juan Mata and Hazard combined down the left and with the help of a kind deflection the ball fell to the Spaniard in the box, but having just come on he fired his effort into the side netting.
But Juventus never looked like giving up the chase for an equalizer and they finally got their reward with 10 minutes remaining. Marchisio was again heavily involved as he played a fine through ball to Quagliarella who spun cleverly off John Terry, who tried in vain to play the offside trap, before producing a composed finish low past Cech.
Quagliarella could have further endeared himself to the travelling fans from Turin with less than five minutes left on the clock. The Italian striker received the ball on the edge of the box and produced an instant turn and shot that bounced off the top of the crossbar.
That was to be the last major action of an engaging contest that showed--as if their 42 game unbeaten run in Serie A wasn’t evidence enough--that Juventus will take some beating in this season’s Champions League.
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Gol de Quagliarella vs Chelsea (2-2) by rrmisas
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