By Paul Lagan at Kingsmeadow
Chelsea 0 v Juventus 0
Juventus did a job on Chelsea this evening as the Italians held the Blues to a 0-0 Champions League draw at Kingsmeadow.
Fresh from thumping Arsenal in the FA Cup at the weekend, the west Londoners felt this would be a tough match. But it proved to be more a case of missed chances than being particularly tough.
Sam Kerr can count herself lucky not to have seen a red card as she saw red when a fan invaded then pitch late on. She pushed the man onto the ground and only suffered a yellow card card from Swedish referee Sara Persson.
Juventus was well marshalled by ex-Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro and he will have been delighted to have halted the Blues in their own back yard.
His gestures towards the baiting Chelsea fans at he end of the game showed exactly what’s he wanted to achieve in the game and he did it successfully.
The lack of a clinical finish by the Blues is something they will have to iron out as they progress into the knockout stages of this season’s tournament.
The Blues went for the jugular straight from the whistle and Pernille Harder thumped a glorious shot that stung the palms of Pauline Peyraund-Magnin. The ball spin off her gloves onto the crossbar and was cleared.
This was followed on seven minutes by an attempted curler from distance by Fran Kirby. But the goalkeeper was well placed.
Sophie Ingle was next up try try from range after a quick counter attack – her effort was high and wide of the goal, but not by much.
The former Arsenal goalkeeper made a spectacular save to tip a thunderbolt of a left footer by Guro Reiten over the crossbar on 22 minutes.
Matilda Lundorf blocked a certain Sam Kerr goal two minutes later as Peyraund-Magnin made a howler of an error to set up the Australian. But the right-back was brave to put her body in the way to thwart the home side.
Kerr outmuscled centre-back Cecilla Salvai, raced onto a one-one-one with the goalkeeper. She rounded her but just took the ball too far wide and could only cut the ball back across the goal line, where it was cleared.
Kerr headed over and Peyraud-Magnin whipped over a Millie Bright long-range effort as the Blue kept pressing forward in search of the breakthrough goal.
There were no changes at half-time by either side.
But it was case of deja vu as the Blues sought to win the game while the Italians were content to sit back and hope for the best in the occasional foray on the counter-attack.
The Blues had the ball in the back of the from a Kirby drive but Kerr was adjudged to have been offside.
Juventus had their first shot on target on 65 minutes when Lina Hurtig’s weak left footer from a tight angle saw Ann-Katrin Berger dive to her right and snaffle the ball at the base of her right post.
Head coach Emma Hayes opted to replace Harder for Beth England with 20 minutes left on the clock.
It was not enough and had the game continued beyond the six added minutes, there would still not have been a goal toward the 1,808 cold, brave souls.
Teams: Chelsea, Berger, Bright, Ingle, Carter, Ji, Reiten, Kirby, Eriksson, Kerr, Cuthbert, Harder
Subs: Musovic, Telford, Nouwen, Leupolz, England, Fleming, Charles, Spence, Andersson, Fox
Juventus:, Peyraud-Magnin, Rosucci, Girelli, Bonansea, Lundorf, Boattin, Junge Pedersen, Hurtig, Zamanian, Salvai, Lanzini
Subs: Aprile, Hyyrynen, Gama, Nilden, Staskova, Giai, Caruso, Bonfantini, Arcangeli, Beccari, Pfattner
Referee: Sara Persson (Sweden)
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