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Thursday September 20 2012
Juve are back – and with fight

Juventus made an impressive return to Champions League football as they stopped holders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Serafino Ingardia praises the resilient Old Lady.

It was never going to be easy for Juventus as they visited European Champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the night of their return to the Champions League. And, as stats show that the Bianconeri had lost their last five trips to England against Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester United and twice to Arsenal, they might have wished for a softer return to European action.

The Old Lady did things the hard way after they went down 2-0 to the Blues following a terrific one-two from Brazilian starlet Oscar. It could have been game over and a terrible blow for Antonio Conte’s boys who were as usual guided on the touchline by Massimo Carrera.

Chelsea, as Roberto Di Matteo had warned them, soon realised they hadn’t seen the end of it as this Juve is not built to surrender. Watching La Signora pushing around the European Champions at Stamford Bridge was a pleasant yet surprising affair. For over a decade they had been mistreated in the UK with their last win in England dating back to 1996 against United at Old Trafford.

This Juve side wasn’t built in a day though as their 42 League game unbeaten run shows. Don’t forget, Conte has lost just once while at Juventus – in the Italian Cup Final against Napoli last season.

In one of the most difficult of nights, the team’s fighting spirit rescued them from a critical situation. Conte wasn’t there to help, but Juve still stood up and fought back with heart and soul.

Juve may not be remembered for their quality, but their remarkable ability to straighten things up is pretty unique. This was the tenth comeback for Juventus under Conte. Seven times the Bianconeri have managed to equalise, while in three other occasions they went on to win.

And once again, Juve managed to get back on track in the second half. Last season, they had +17 points at full-time compared to half-time results. Their current campaign started in similar fashion. Against Napoli in the Super Cup, the Bianconeri went 2-1 down in the first 45 minutes before grabbing a second-half equaliser and finish off the Azzurri in extra-time. It was no coincidence they played the same trick at Stamford Bridge.

The Old Lady returned home with a precious point which gives them hope to progress to the next stage and perhaps even top the group. Nevertheless, this result gives them no reason to get carried away – it must go down as an assumption of potential.

As a matter of fact, despite a night of brilliance in London, the Bianconeri remain significantly behind the top European clubs. But as Chelsea proved last term, this is a competition open to surprises in which such a determined Juventus will certainly have a word to say.

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Have your say...
It was a fine performance, especially given the score after 33 min when lesser team would have collapsed.

They deserved their draw and it could have been more. Vidal and Chiellini were the stand out players, but all played quite well. Giovinco was the only problem as he got shoved off the ball far too easily.

I think they'd have won last night with either Llorente or Jovetic. The next 3 games are crucial. 7 points is the minimum requirement, but 9 is more than possible.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 10:50am
Juve need to buy a top striker if they wont to continue in the champions league, they did well last night but i wasn't to inpress with Giovinco
on the 20th September, 2012 at 10:45am
I have been a Juventus fan since the age of 5 or so. Been through all the good and bad times. I had been waiting years for this moment and i never doubted Juventus last night in that they would ever lose. I thought they outplayed Chelsea for most parts of the game and was happy that Juve have finally gained the respect around the world they deserve. However, i still feel to get out of the group it will be very tricky even though on paper we should top the group or second at least. Vidal = :D:D
on the 20th September, 2012 at 10:36am
So so proud of my boys last night, they put in a good performance, not their best, but a good strong performance and came away with a well earned point. Let us not forget Juve had more clear cut chances and should of ended the first half way 2 goals up, Claudio and Mirko should of put them in front. Two wonder strikes where needed to equal Juve even though we played a better overall game.Imagine if we strengthened the attack like we have the midfield...the world will be ours again, forza juve!
on the 20th September, 2012 at 10:33am
What a show of spirit! For long periods Juve looked second best but made it through on grit in the absence of their usually incisive passing game. Their potential was as obvious as Lampard's and other Chelsea players' diving, all while the Brazilian Sideshow Bob lookalike ran around fouling poor little Giovinco. For all the praise given to Oscar, Quagliarella was centimetres away from having a much larger impact, with only 10 minutes on the field and without deflections.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 10:18am
Salute Juve...I think Carrera should make earlier sub, and give Pogba/Marrone chances, because Pirlo look tired...
on the 20th September, 2012 at 10:17am
I don't care what the critics say, it was an outstanding performance. Coming from 2 goals down & playing the defending champions at their homeground is impressive.

Watching Juve fans go ballistic at the stadium after Fabio's goal was epic !!!
on the 20th September, 2012 at 10:07am
I dont get this article we put up a super game, in the first half we totally dominated territory and possession truth be told they got very luck to get the upper hand seeing as the first goal was complete luck/bonucci being bonucci.I watched it with english commentary and even they spent more or less the entire game praising us and said we deserved the draw if not more !!!
on the 20th September, 2012 at 10:06am
Last night's game was typical of the modern Juve, I believe. At the moment, playing a game against Juventus is like fighting the Terminator – it doesn't seem to matter what you do, this adversary just keeps coming back at you! They're a machine. It looks like that refusal to lose is sure to annoy the European teams this season, and for that much I'm glad. Admirable performance.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 10:04am
- Two Vidal goals

- Marchisio chance

- Vucinic chance

- Quagliarella hitting the bar

Juve could have scored 5 goals.

Chlesea only had three real shots on goal, and two of the hit the back of the net, while Mata's hit the side-netting.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 10:00am
"As a matter of fact, despite a night of brilliance in London, the Bianconeri remain significantly behind the top European clubs"

Are you kiddin' me !?

Did you see the match last night? Juve dominated Chlesea and could've won. Chelsea only got lucky with two shots from a player I didn't know existed !

Juve are on a par with Madrid, Barca and every other "top" teams as you described them.

I suspect you're a Milanista.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 9:57am
We all know that Juve are determined and always manage to comeback. Their biggest concern is the defense though in my opinion which was not strong but was much better than Chelsea if you ask me.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 9:42am

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