Chelsea Women played another UWCL game, but this time against Juventus Women. With the Blues already dropping points against Wolfsburg Women, they were looking to bounce back against Juventus. Meanwhile, Juventus were looking to strengthen their hold at the top of the group with a historic win.
Juventus starting XI: Peyraud Magnin, Boattin, Gama, Salvai, Lundorf Skovsen, Rosucci, Junge-Pedersen, Cernoia, Bonansea, Girelli, Hurtig.
Chelsea starting XI: Berger, Eriksson, Carter, Bright, Reiten, Ji, Leupolz, Cuthbert, Harder, Kerr, Kirby.
Juventus were looking to continue their crazy run, with the Old Lady only losing 1 competitive fixture so far in 2021. Joe Montemurro has made 8 changes to his side, with many players being rested for this match, however, it didn’t seem like it, with the quality and depth that Juventus has. One of two players who has kept their place without any compromises, Sofie Junge-Pedersen doesn’t score much (around once every 5 games) but is a key player for Juventus.
The visitors were eyeing up seven matches without a loss, and were also in search of their first UWCL win, after drawing 3-3 with Wolfsburg in their opening match. Chelsea had never faced the 4-time Italian champions, after their creation in 2017. Emma Hayes has made 8 changes since the 2-0 win against Leicester, with many of the side’s main players coming back into the starting 11. An interesting thing to pick up on is Leupolz’s new position beside Ji, something to consider longer-term?
FIRST HALF STARTS
Erin Cuthbert (Juventus 0-1 Chelsea)
Chelsea took the lead through a finish via Scottish international Erin Cuthbert. The 23-year-old finished it nicely, with a drive into the box and a finish at the near post.
Barbara Bonansea (Juventus 1-1 Chelsea)
Juventus got an equalizer, due to the Chelsea defence not effectively marking runners, which allowed Barbara Bonanseato to go in between them and stick the ball in the goal.
It was a match which was level at the break, but despite Chelsea obviously dominating possession, Juventus were the better side. No changes for either side at halftime, despite both teams requiring energy and a fresh start. We continued into the second half with the score being 1-1.
SECOND HALF STARTS
Pernille Harder (Juventus 1-2 Chelsea)
Pernille Harder scored a frankly lucky goal, which took multiple deflections in order to land at her foot. However she has put Chelsea back in front, and they didn’t look like they were going to lose from here.
It ended in another late goal from Pernille Harder, but it still begs the question of how well Chelsea can do without that entrancing front 3 of Kerr, Kirby, and Harder. My key player Pernille Harder did rack up an assist and also the winning goal, so that was a success for me. Juventus will be disappointed, but knowing that they kept Chelsea to a close match will be fuel for when the pair meet again in December.