Thomas Tuchel celebrated like a manager who knows his team are unstoppable. Chelsea did not just beat one of European football’s giants, they absolutely destroyed Juventus to go top of Group H with a statement of intent at Stamford Bridge. This time three academy graduates - Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi - were on target to leave Juventus looking like a team in meltdown. Incredibly, James is now Chelsea’s top scorer with five goals this season and no wonder the home fans were chanting: “Reece James - he’s one of our own.” Chelsea boss Tuchel did his best to play down the hype and noise growing around James before the game but he will have a tough job because the right wing back just gets better with every game.
James looks too good, too strong and attacks as well as he defends which, even with England’s fierce competition for a right back slot, probably makes him leader in the clubhouse right now. Chalobah celebrated his goal with as much passion and enjoyment - sinking to his knees before praying to the heavens - as he did his first for the club against Crystal Palace back in August. Even Hudson-Odoi who has not always impressed Tuchel with his inconsistent displays, got in on the act as Chelsea avenged their defeat in Turin two months ago and regained control of the Group with just one game left. Substitute Timo Werner then completed the rout with almost the last kick of the game as he turned home Ziyech's low cross. The only disappointment of the night was Ben Chilwell going off injured in the second half as he hobbled off and that will be a worry ahead of facing Manchester United on Sunday.
But the reality is that Chelsea seem to have so much strength in depth that they will take some stopping because Tuchel seems to have solutions all over the pitch. They completely blitzed Juventus from first to last, Max Allegri’s men did not really come to play and sat deep which was an open invitation to Chelsea. Chelsea were ahead after just 25 minutes when Hakim Ziyech’s corner then unsettled the Juventus defence, the ball deflected off Matthijs de Ligt and it appeared to hit Antonio Rudiger’s arm before falling to Chalobah. Chalobah then smashed home from 12 yards with an unstoppable shot which gave Szczesny no chance and fired Chelsea into a 25th minute lead. VAR made a lengthy check but nothing was going to stop Chalobah celebrating. Juventus came desperately close to levelling three minutes later when Alvaro Morata lifted the ball over Edouard Mendy but, incredibly, Thiago Silva somehow raced back and cleared spectacularly off the line. Silva is 37, but his know-how means what he lacks in pace, he makes up with his exquisite reading of the game. Yet again, Silva was in the right place at exactly the right time and his experience is guiding Chelsea’s kids. Chelsea really stepped up the pace after the break. Chilwell’s 55th minute cross came off Leonardo Bonucci’s head, James controlled the ball with his chest and then smashed a shot past Juventus keeper Wojciech Szczesny. James is just unstoppable. Three minutes later, it was 3-0. Rudiger, James and Ruben Loftus-Cheek - on for the injured N’Golo Kante - combined to set up Hudson-Odoi to score at the back post. Werner then got in on the act with his third goal of the season. Chelsea are top of the Premier League, defending European champions after lifting the trophy in May and, on this form, it is difficult to see anyone stopping Tuchel from winning the biggest prizes again this season.
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