From Stamford Bridge – Chelsea secured their place in the Champions League round of 16 with a completely dominant 4-0 victory over Serie A giant Juventus on Tuesday night.
The Blues dictated the first half against a Bianconeri team that had apparently come for a draw. After controlling the possession of the ball without actually creating anything, Chelsea came to life in the middle of the half.
Wojciech Szczesny made a brilliant save, tipping the awkwardly curled shot past the post. Trevoh Chalobah appeared on cue near the post, and steered it past the goalie.
After a VAR review for a push on Leonardo Bonucci and a handball by Antonio Rudiger, the goal stood.
Juventus were so close even just three minutes later, but Thiago Silva’s fantastic goal line clearance denied former Chelsea man Alvaro Morata after he had lifted the ball over the attacking Edouard Mendy.
James tested Szczesny again before the break, hit the ball and fired a poisonous shot that the pole tipped around the post.
Chelsea pushed home their advantage ten minutes after the break, with James controlling a clearance on the chest before he pounded home an almost identical shot as the one saved before half time.
Three minutes later it was 3-0. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was the creator, weaving his wares through Juventus’ back line before placing it on a plate for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who happily set foot in an acre of space.
There were late chances for both sides when Edourd Mendy was forced into his only real save, tipping Weston McKennie’s shot over, before Szczesny did well to divert Hakim Ziyech’s low effort around the post.
Chelsea rounded off the goal scorer in stoppage time. James was again involved with a ridiculous pass across the field to Ziyech, who put a perfectly low ball over the box for Timo Werner to push in.
The Blues needed to win by two goals to go to the top of Group H – they did just that and more.
This is how the players rated …
Chalobah sweeps home premiere / Marc Atkins / GettyImages
Edouard Mendy (GK) – 7/10 – Surprisingly had very little to do, but got help from Silva’s intervention. Another clean sheet.
Trevoh Chalobah (CB) – 8/10 – First half nod narrowly wide. Always turn your head to keep an eye on Chiesa. The striker’s finish was 1-0.
Thiago Silva (CB) – 8/10 – Absolutely incredible finish line clearance to deny Morata. So athletic. Stable throughout.
Antonio Rüdiger (CB) – 7/10 – Just brilliant again. Didn’t have to do much defensively but carried the ball forward and passed through the lines.
James Caused Constant Problems / Chloe Knott – Danehouse / GettyImages
Reece James (RWB) – 9/10 – Forced two really good saves in the first period, which shows his attacking ability. However, he did not avoid his defensive tasks and did not give Juve’s left side an inch. Ridiculous technique for the second, coffin down and hit home. Fantastic pass in the run-up to the four. Complete player.
Jorginho (CM) – 7/10 – Important early intervention to deny Chiesa. Nice and tidy, no frills. Subbed.
N’Golo Kante (CM) – 6/10 – Omnipresent as usual before he was forced off with an injury.
Ben Chilwell (LWB) – 7/10 – Come forward well to support Hudson-Odoi and snap back Juan Cuadrado. Got a nasty injury after the break.
Hudson-Odoi was confident / Catherine Ivill / GettyImages
Hakim Ziyech (RF) – 7/10 – Was appearing centrally in the first period to make things happen, but forced it a bit. Grew into the match and was such a threat after half time. Excellent low assist for Werner.
Christian Pulisic (CF) – 6/10 – His stay game left a lot to be desired. Touch let him down on several occasions. Not really his day. Subbed.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (LF) – 8/10 – Always a threat and looked extremely confident. Got the goal he deserved, with footwork after Loftus-Cheek’s muddy dribbling. Subbed.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CM) – 7/10 – Wonderful assist for Hudson-Odoi, who leaves Juventus’ defense in his wake. All-action in his tackle and ball bearing.
Cesar Azpilicueta (LWB) – 6/10 – Solid as always.
Timo Werner (ST) – 7/10 – Looked dangerous. Easy connection from the bench. Nice to see him back.
Mason Mount (LF) – 6/10 – Busy, but the attacking work was done when he came on.
Saul Niguez (CM) – 6/10 – Nice cameo for him in a big match.
Szczesny was a busy man / ADRIAN DENNIS / GettyImages
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – 7/10 – Two good saves in the first half. Could have done better with a couple of goals. Another top late save from Ziyech’s effort.
Juan Cuadrado (RB) – 6/10 – Helped his side get a grip on the game. Booked for a clumsy rule violation at Hudson-Odoi. Eventually subbed.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – 5/10 – A few loose passes out from the back and went to the ground way too easily just before the opener. One of many robbed for Hudson-Odoi’s finish.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – 6/10 – Important block to stop Hudson-Odoi after a break. His loose nod was struck by James.
Alex Sandro (LB) – 6/10 – Fought against James all night and could not really attack either.
Bentancur was subbad / Mike Hewitt / GettyImages
Weston McKennie (RM) – 6/10 – Surround yourself, but to little avail. Not just an exterior.
Rodrigo Bentancur (CM) – 5/10 – Planted a half chance over at half time. Hardly did anything else before sacrificing for Paulo Dybala.
Manuel Locatelli (CM) – 6/10 – Really handsome player. Great pass to put in Morata. Then faded. Subbed.
Adrien Rabiot (LM) – 6/10 – Also fought against James. Just absolutely no match physically.
Morata was dominated by Chelsea’s backline / Chloe Knott – Danehouse / GettyImages
Alvaro Morata (ST) – 5/10 – Could probably not believe that he had not scored when Silva slipped in to deny him. Subbed. A show reminiscent of his time at Stamford Bridge.
Federico Chiesa (ST) – 5/10 – Be extremely quiet most of the time, which was the key. Subbed.
Paulo Dybala (ST) – 5/10 – Tossed on but could not affect things.
Moise Cain (ST) – N / A – Barely touched it.
Arthur (CM) – 6/10 – Will probably never be a game changer.
Dejan Kulusevski (LW) – N / A
For more from Krishan Davis, follow him on Twitter!