Federico Chiesa proved to be a big game player once again with the only goal in Juventus’ 1-0 Champions League win over holders Chelsea which could kick-start their faltering season.
Sat 10th in Serie A after a succession of unconvincing performances domestically, Juve top Group H with a perfect six points thanks to a superbly taken winner 10 seconds after half-time from Chiesa, one of Italy’s stars at Euro 2020.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side took down the European champions, despite missing starting forwards Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata, with a disciplined performance that sucked the life out of the Blues and restricted them to very little in front of goal.
“We showed the Juventus spirit tonight, and that’s what the coach asks of us,” Chiesa, who has been criticised by Allegri this season, told Amazon.
“There has never been any problem between me and the coach, I do what he asks of me. When Juve start off poorly there is always a lot of unnecessary noise: we all want to take the club back to the top.”
Juve are three points clear of both Chelsea and Zenit, who they play in Saint Petersburg in three weeks.
“The players put in a great performance against the European champions. We were solid defensively and conceded very few chances. (Wojciech) Szczesny barely had a save to make,” said Allegri to Amazon.
“We also missed some really good chances on the counter but I’m happy. We haven’t conceded a goal, we have six points, it’s another step towards qualifying.”
Chelsea dominated the ball in the early stages but it was the home side who had the first real chances of the game, both of which came after pouncing on sloppy passes in midfield.