Chelsea 4 Juventus 0: Homegrown academy starlets send Blues into knockout stages

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Roman Abramovich doesn’t need to come to Stamford Bridge to know that Chelsea are in good hands these days.

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The enigmatic Russian made a rare trip to London over the weekend but was still too busy to see the team he has controlled over the years to such spectacular effect.

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Chelsea’s academy stars Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi lead against Juventuscredit: Richard Pelham /
Hudson-Odoi nets as Blues book their place in knockout stages

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Hudson-Odoi nets as Blues book their place in knockout stagescredit: Richard Pelham /
Chelsea take control of their Champions League group thanks to Trevoh Chaloba's opener

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Chelsea take control of their Champions League group thanks to Trevoh Chaloba’s openercredit: getty

And for all the superstar signings he’s funded during his ownership, his best investment has been building what is arguably the best youth academy in the business.

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has already taken advantage of the club’s home stars to win the Champions League in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

And on Tuesday night it was three more of their own that saw Chelsea qualify for the knock-out stages – goals from Trevoh Chaloba, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner as goalscorers Juventus watched.

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It is now 25 years since the 36-time Italian champions last won the European Cup.

And Max Allegri’s side will find out how far they are after Tuchel’s young thrusters are slain by the sword.

While they could also reach the knock-out stages, they are now relying on Chelsea to drop points against Zenit St Petersburg next month to stand any chance of topping Group H.

Timo Werner also got in on the action with a last-gasp effort

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Timo Werner also got in on the action with a last-gasp effortcredit: Reuters
Chaloba scored in the 25th minute for Chelsea

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Chaloba scored in the 25th minute for Chelseacredit: Richard Pelham /
It was the defender's first European goal.

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It was the defender’s first European goal.credit: Richard Pelham /


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The last time these teams met in Turin two months ago, Chelsea made the mistake of playing a patient game and trying to put their opponents to death.

But on that occasion Juventus were more than happy to see them keep the ball to themselves all night, string everyone up in their respective boxes and snatch a winner over the counter with their only attack of the game.

So this time Tuchel ordered his players to go for the juggler from the start and not give the old lady a chance to settle down.

And his gung-ho approach almost paid off in the second minute when Ben Chilwell had a swing and miss right in front of the goal.

James doubled Chelsea's lead in the 55th minute with a thunderbolt

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James doubled Chelsea’s lead in the 55th minute with a thunderboltcredit: Reuters
The wing-back can't stop scoring for European champions

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The wing-back can’t stop scoring for European championscredit: getty
Hudson-Odoi made it 3-0 moments later.

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Hudson-Odoi made it 3-0 moments later.credit: Richard Pelham /

Chelobah went wide from James’ corner and Wojciech Szczekny had to be on his toes to prevent Christian Pulisic from converting another James cross.

But without a recognized striker in their starting line-up, Chelsea’s attacking efforts lacked a focal point to break through the stubborn Italians.

And the longer they were unable to force a breakthrough, the more Juventus began to look at the possibility of another shut-out.

But when it was starting to look like another night of despair for Tuchel and his team, Juve were eventually undone by a sledgehammer bolt out of the blue.

The winger is now becoming a regular starter for Chelsea

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The winger is now becoming a regular starter for Chelseacredit: Richard Pelham /
Werner came off the bench to score the fourth goal with the final kick of the game.

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Werner came off the bench to score the fourth goal with the final kick of the game.credit: Reuters
Chelsea will host Man Utd in the Premier League next Sunday

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Chelsea will host Man Utd in the Premier League next Sundaycredit: Reuters

And if Chelsea are to move on and achieve all their ambitions in the coming months, they should give set-piece coach Anthony Barry a serious pay raise.

Because no team this season has proved so deadly with a dead ball situation.

And even though Juve knew how dangerous their opponents were when they could bring the big guys forward, they were powerless to avert the threat.

Not that there was anything subtle about Chelsea’s opening goal in the 25th minute as Hakim Ziyech’s corner bounced off Antonio Rudiger and fell all the way to hit Chaloba at home.

Juventus argued that the ball had passed out of Rudiger’s hand before Chaloba was hit and that they certainly had a point.

Serbian referee Sarjan Jovanovic also missed Leonardo Bonucci’s push by Jorginho as the ball was pushed into the danger zone.

But Spanish VAR Alejandro Hernandez gave Chelsea the benefit of the doubt and suddenly the visitors had to abandon their game plan and come out of their shell.

N'Golo Kante was suppressed in the first half in a stroke of potential injury

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N’Golo Kante was suppressed in the first half in a stroke of potential injurycredit: getty
Ben Chilwell also fell limping due to a knee injury

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Ben Chilwell also fell limping due to a knee injurycredit: Richard Pelham /
Thomas Tuchel sets a new record for the least goals scored by a manager in his first 50 games

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Thomas Tuchel sets a new record for the least goals scored by a manager in his first 50 gamescredit: getty

And it took a remarkable piece of defense by veteran Thiago Silva to deny him an immediate equalizer.

Striker Alvaro Morata was forced to bear the cry of ‘reject Chelsea’ four years ago after his unsuccessful £60million move to Stamford Bridge.

But he thought he had silenced those taunts when he came behind Chelsea’s defense to lob the ball at forward keeper Edouard Mendy.

Silva, however, had other ideas and ran back to get the ball off the line to maintain his team’s precious lead.

It was as close as Juve had to come to halt Chelsea’s progress and they were finally put out of their misery 11 minutes after the break.

Chilwell’s cross was led by Bonucci, but only as James, who calmly downed the ball before hitting an unassailable shot ahead of Szczeciny.

James rejoined two minutes later, to slalom Ruben Loftus-Cheek through the Juve defense before stepping aside for Hudson-Odoi’s emphatic end.

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Even Chilwell and N’Golo Kante’s injuries didn’t make for another big step forward for Tuchel and his team.

The two will be struggling to be fit for Manchester United’s visit to Bridge on Sunday, but Chelsea know they have more than enough to cope.

Chelsea crowned their night in style when Werner met Ziyech’s cross for the fourth goal, with James scoring a superb long pass into the build-up.

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