Chelsea Vs. Juventus, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Final Score 2-2, Old Lady Fight Back

Juventus struggled through the opening 35 minutes of their Champions League return, but Chelsea failed to put them away. As the Bianconeri slowly found their footing and improved late in the first half and into the second half, Chelsea failed to step up their game, and Juventus were able to turn a 2-0 deficit into an important 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The combination of some 50-50 refereeing decisions that did not go their way and an injury to Oscar turned the tables in the favor of Juventus late in the match. Chelsea looked like the better team for almost all of the first 75 minutes of the game, but Juventus took control in the 75th minute, when Fabio Quagliarella entered the game for them and Oscar exited for the Blues.

Oscar was clearly Chelsea's best player in the first half, taking advantage of a great opportunity in a surprise start over Juan Mata. In addition to scoring both of his team's goals, he did a terrific job of marking Andrea Pirlo in the first half, denying Juventus' deep-lying playmaker possession of the ball throughout the first 45 minutes.

Chelsea's first goal was well-deserved after a 30-minute period of mostly sustained pressure, but they still needed a bit of luck to score. Oscar's 25-yard shot took a big deflection off Leonardo Bonucci, leaving Gianluigi Buffon helpless on the 31st minute goal. Two minutes later, Buffon was left helpless for an entirely different reason on a magical second goal from Oscar, who looped a perfect shot into the back of the net from the same distance.

Surprisingly, Juventus fired their way back into the match before halftime. In the 38th minute, Claudio Marchisio found Arturo Vidal at the top of the box. The Chilean midfielder took a touch and found a shooting lane, thanks to a slightly relaxed Chelsea defense, and struck a very well-placed finish to the back post to make the score 2-1.

The Blues simply couldn't catch a break in the second half. Eden Hazard was tripped up by Andrea Barzagli in the 58th minute and was unlucky not to win a penalty. A few minutes later, Fernando Torres appeared to be tripped up at the edge of the penalty area, and referee Pedro Proenca waived play on again. In the 70th minute, Oscar picked up a knock on a hard challenge by Bonucci. He attempted to run off his injury, but came out for Mata five minutes later.

At the same time, Quagliarella entered for Sebastian Giovinco, which proved to be a decisive substitution. He was the scorer of Juventus' equalizer, though the goal was practically gifted to the Old Lady. A John Obi Mikel giveaway started the attack, and John Terry was slow to step up on a ball into the box by Marchisio. Quagliarella beat the poor offside trap, got onto the end of the ball and finished, leveling the match.

A draw seemed like the most likely result from then until the end of the match, as neither team looked particularly great going forward, but Quagliarella did nick the crossbar with another shot a few minutes after his goal. He looked very upset about missing the opportunity, but he'll likely get over it quickly. A draw was a great result for Juventus, especially considering how poorly they played to start the match.

For more on the Blues, head over to Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History. For more on the Old Lady, check out Juventus FC blog Black and White and Read All Over. For more on the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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