A Football Weekly Live: Christmas Special, you say?
Half-time: Chelsea 1-0 Juventus
The hosts are dominated the match from start to finish against a well-disciplined Juventus but they have given up a few chances and Chelsea have deservedly taken one.
45 mins: Two minutes added on.
44 mins: The ball is chipped over the top by Jorginho to Hudson-Odoi, he chests the ball down in front of him but Bonucci gets across to clear just in time.
“Just wondering, re 19:57,” emails David Hunter, “whether lemon juice is the Nice/FDA/etc approved diagnostic for questionable spicy sauce? Wouldn’t want the Guardian to be responsible for fake news or an Ivermectin type run on citrus.”
I am very much the Dr Nick Riviera for Covid.
42 mins: James drills a cross into the six-yard box but De Ligt reads the danger and turns it behind.
The Chelsea right-back takes another dangerous corner which flicks of the top of Thiago Silva’s head and away.
40 mins: Chiesa sends a corner into the box from the right, it only reaches Alex Sandro at the near post, from where the defender flicks the ball well wide.
38 mins: Hudson-Odoi pings a pass from left to right to find James, he chests it down on the edge of the box and whacks a shot across Szczesny but he dives to keep it out of the bottom corner.
Rudiger attacks a corner for Chelsea but he heads the ball wide under little pressure. He will be annoyed to have missed the target.
As predicted, Loftus-Cheek replaces Kante.
36 mins: Loftus-Cheek is being prepared to come on for Chelsea. Kante seems to have some sort of niggle.
34 mins: Kante drives into the box but his shot is blocked after the midfielder is crowded out.
Elsewhere in this group, Soren Rieks has given Malmo the lead over Zenit.
32 mins: McKennie slides in from about five yards away to tackle Ziyech, just catching the Chelsea man but referee is not interested.
Sloppy play in midfield from Juventus allows Pulisic a run at goal but he delays shooting, allowing the visitors to race back and dispossess him before any damage can be done.
30 mins: Thiago Silva is up and about, which is good news for the defender and Chelsea. He is proving to be a fantastic athlete still at the tender age of 37.
28 mins: Locatelli sends the ball over the top for Morata, who gets one-on-one with Mendy, before dinking a shot over the goalkeeper, only for Thiago Silva to race back and volley the ball off the line, injuring himself in the process. He has saved a certain goal there.
GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Juventus (Chalobah, 25)
Ziyech swings a corner from the left into the box, Rudiger gets a head onto it and it falls to Chalobah eight yards out, he hits it on the half-volley and it pings off Szczesny and the bar, before dropping into the net. It goes to VAR, as it it seems that the ball touched Rudiger’s arm before dropping to Chalobah. It is ruled there is no offence and the goal stands.
24 mins: Just as I publish the previous post, Hudson-Odoi gets one-on-one with Cuadrado, who bundles the Chelsea man over, earning a booking for his indiscretion. James swings the resulting free-kick from the left flank at goal, which catches Szczesny out but he just about makes up the ground to palm the shot clear.
22 mins: Hudson-Odoi drives at Cuadrado but the makeshift defender is up to the challenge. It is certainly sticking to his task for the night incredibly well thus far, especially considering that Chelsea are targeting that side of the pitch.
20 mins: Chelsea are doing their best to stretch Juventus by passing the ball side-to-side at varying speeds. The ball ends up with Rudiger on the edge of the box; he takes a touch and swings his left boot at the ball but drags his shot well wide.
18 mins: It is still very much all Chelsea as Juventus sit off and wait for their chance on the break. It is all very nice tactically, if a little dull to watch as Juventus sit permanently with 10 players behind the ball.
16 mins: Chilwell gets to the byline and drills a low cross which is almost diverted into the back of the net by a Juventus defender but Szczesny gets his body in the way and the ball is cleared.
14 mins: Ziyech goes full Renato Sanches and plays a pass to the advertising hoardings, which are blue, to be fair.
Dynamo Kyiv hosted Bayern Munich in the snow earlier.
12 mins: Juventus finally get a touch of the ball in Chelsea’s half, which they use pretty well as Cuadrado and Bentancur play a nice one-two to get the Colombian into the box where he is dispossessed, allowing the hosts to clear.
10 mins: A Ziyech corner makes it all the way to the back post where Cuadrado is positioned. The Juventus defender seems to lose his bearings and volleys it behind for another corner.
James sends in the next corner which Chalobah heads just wide.
8 mins: Cuadrado slides in to tackle Hudson-Odoi on Chelsea’s left. He could be in for a busy night.
If it’s not Hudson-Odoi running at you, it’s … Rudiger? The Chelsea defender dribbles from the halfway to the edge of the box and wins his team a corner.
John Squared, surely.
6 mins: Juventus are under the pump in the early stages, even when they get the ball they give it away quickly. Not what Allegri will have wanted.
4 mins: The ball is yet to leave the Juventus half pretty much as Chelsea put pressure on the visitors.
In other news, Szczesny seems to be wearing bright orange tights. More as we get it.
2 mins: Hudson-Odoi starts brightly, attacking the Juventus midfield to break the lines. Juventus will not be keen to face a winger like Hudson-Odoi if he is in the mood.
Moments later, Kante breaks into the box from the right flank, he chips it back to Hudson-Odoi who gets a touch onto the ball and Chilwell swings his boots at the ball but makes poor contact and Chelsea end up with a corner rather than goal.
Peep! Peep! Peep! Here we go!
The weather in Barcelona is poor.
Just eaten some harissa chicken which was not spicy in the least, so squeezed some lemon onto my tongue to make sure my tastebuds hadn’t gone.
Great news for those in the US as Christian Pulisic battles it out with Weston McKennie.
Very much a crisp night in London, which is all you can ask for in late November.
I am intrigued by the idea of Chilwell up against Cuadrado, which I think could be a fun battle on that flank.
We all need a bit of Zlatan in our lives.
The good news for Chelsea is that Lukaku is back on the bench. Not they have struggled too much without him.
Subs: Pinsoglio, Perin, Arthur, Dybala, Kean, Rugani, Kulusevski, De Winter
Chelsea need a meagre point to secure their passage to next year’s knockout stages. As holders, Thomas Tuchel will want to do far more than the bare minimum in this group after winning the trophy in June. They are top of the Premier League and will want to prove why they find themselves in such a lofty position against opposition who beat them in the reverse fixture in Turin. That defeat on 25 September was the last time Chelsea lost a match, a sign of the fine form they find themselves.
Leicester City were despatched at the weekend with such glorious ease that Tuchel will find his players extremely well-rested for this fixture at Stamford Bridge. A win by a decent margin tonight will put them in pole position to top the group, leaving Juventus to stew in second.
Juventus arrive in London off the back of three tricky games, defeating Zenit St Petersburg, Fiorentina and Lazio, which is a bloody good job as they lost the previous two outings to lesser lights Sassuolo and Verona, a sign of their inconsistency in Serie A. The Old Lady currently sit eighth in the domestic table, a desperate scenario for such a big club (also see Manchester United). In the Champions League, however, the team have been note perfect and will want to carry it on tonight to lay down a marker for the rest of the competition.