by Darren Walsh

Think this is the first time I’ll see Chelsea live in the CL this season.  In fact, I didn’t even see the final last year, and it was bad enough hearing the result; actually watching the match could have pushed me over the edge.   There’s a fair chance that it could have ended up with my neighbours on the news stating “Well he was a fairly quiet guy and we never expected ANYTHING like this!”

Been a while since I saw Juve too; used to see them all the time during their heyday with Zidane, Davids, Trezeguet et al.

No strikers to start the game for Chelsea; if I had to pick between Torres and Sturridge I’d have done the exact same thing.  Oh, just heard that Sturridge is injured, which makes it even worse for Fernando; he had no competition for a place up front and still couldn’t get picked.

I like this stadium a lot more than the old Stadio Delle Alpi; it’s full for a start, with the crowd nearer to the action.

Good save by Cech, spreads himself to make a point blank stop from Lichtsteiner.

Oh Buffon matches that save as Chelsea break, nice run by Oscar before he sets up Hazard for the shot.  Clive Tyldesley has a case of premature celebration and shouts that Chelsea have the lead when it hits the side netting.  Hopefully that rookie mistake from a commentating veteran will reduce his hubris for the rest of the game.

Chelsea are slicing and miskicking a lot of clearances at the moment, need to calm down a bit.

Great corner routine for Juve that Cech saves; low pass to the near post, then a touch back to an onrushing player.  They must have been watching Stoke last night.

Plenty more shots on Cech’s goal right now, but nothing too dangerous.  Chelsea need to take the sting out of the game, which Cech is attempting to do with some very long build-ups to goal kicks.

For a team that has two defensive midfielders on the field, Chelsea sure are giving a lot of space to the Juve attackers just outside the box.

Juve free kick from the edge of the box; only one man is in contention here….

….Pirlo goes low and central, hoping that Cech can’t see through the other players.  Doesn’t work though; easy enough save.

It still annoys me after all these years that Inter let Pirlo go; he was a 19 year old reserve when I made him an integral part of the team on Championship Manager 99/00; in real life he was packed off to A.C Milan.  Just goes to show that my talent spotting is better than Marcello Lippi.

Talking of the Italian metronome, he’s going full-bore with the beard growth.  He looks like an Irish folk musician.

Chance for Juve there but they possibly overplay it a bit.  I would say a goal is imminent but Chelsea specialised in this last year, so I’m not tempting it.

Will anyone ever tell Andy Townsend that the breakdown of every attacking move or shot is not always “unlucky”?

I heard someone say the other day that David Luiz hasn’t been the same player since John Terry has played; have they not seen him play before that?

**** the Ballon D’or: Zinedine Zidane has just got the Tyldesley and Townsend seal of approval as the best player they’ve ever seen, as we get a shot of him in the stands.

Ok, it’s all going off now.  First of all Pirlo takes a long shot that’s deflected off Quagliarella and rolls agonisingly past Cech.  Then Ashley Cole somehow reaches a ball that’s sneaking inside the post and clears it away.  From that, Chelsea break and Hazard finds Mata with just Buffon to beat.  Hard to control the high ball though, and the save is made.

It’s not often that Gareth Southgate stands out, but his coat really is quite something.  It looks like it’s made of three different fabrics.  A bold choice from the normally staid pundit, or maybe the wife picked it out and he has to wear it.

Marko Marin is on the Chelsea bench; I would think that he’s a figment of the imagination due to him not playing a minute since he joined in the summer if I hadn’t seen him play for Werder Bremen, so he definitely exists.

Vucinic with a ridiculous shot from the by-line when he should cross, Juve need to put Chelsea away when they have the chance.

Chiellini with the most Italian of professional fouls on Mata; the free kick is given on the edge of the box, but amazingly there’s no booking.

Quagliarella clean through on goal, but goes round the wrong side of the keeper and leaves himself with no angle to shoot, letting Cech smother the shot.

Second goal for Juve; Vidal finding the net with the help of a deflection.  Seems likely that Chelsea are going to (wash and) go out of the Champion’s League.  Expect much better hair-based puns in the papers tomorrow, although knowing our media, maybe we should expect a lot worse.  With Shakhtar leading 4-2 against Nordsjaelland, it’s looking likely that Chelsea will be able to focus on the Premier League after Christmas.

Of course Tyldesley mentions the fact that Manchester Utd were 2-0 down against Juventus in 1999, and they came back so why can’t Chelsea?

Big cheer from the away fans as Torres readies himself to come on.  I’m not sure what they are expecting; he wasn’t left out because he’s brilliant, was he?

Vucinic misses a sitter to make it three; he’s the only one out of the Juve attackers to have had a rough game.

Oscar seems to be the only one who hasn’t given Pirlo respect tonight; he’s nicked the ball off of him a few times, and has just done it again to almost set up a chance.

Juve are seeing the game out very easily here; Chelsea have no answer to their dominance.

I’ve noticed with Oscar over the games I’ve watched him that he hates going to his left and always tries to cut back onto his right foot.  Cost him two decent chances tonight too.

The seal is put on a convincing win as Giovinco runs onto a through ball and beats an onrushing Cech.

So there we have it.  Qualification is now out of Chelsea’s hands as they have to beat Nordsjaelland and hope that Shakhtar overcome Juventus.  The problem is that the Ukrainians only need a point to finish top of the group, and it’s possible that there might be an “understanding” between the two teams so both will go through with a draw.  It is looking quite likely that Chelsea will become the first defending champions to not qualify for the knockout stages the following year.