TURIN, Italy (AP) — Italy forwards Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi ran consistently through the heart of Chelsea’s defense, Romelu Lukaku was held in check, and Juventus convincingly beat the injury-depleted trophy defender 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Ten seconds into the second half, Chiesa sprinted onto a through ball from Bernardeschi and beat defender Antonio Rudiger to score from a difficult angle.
Bernardeschi nearly made it 2-0 when he tripped just as he was about to redirect a cross from Juan Cuadrado.
It wasn’t until the 75th minute that a decent cross found its way to Lukaku, who Chelsea bought for a club record $135 million in August. But the Belgium striker’s ensuing header went well wide.
Lukaku had a close chance in the 83rd but again missed the target.
Juventus took control of Group H with a full six points. Chelsea and Zenit St. Petersburg have three points each and Malmo has zero.
Earlier, Zenit cruised to a 4-0 win over 10-man Malmo.
Juventus’ perfect start in Europe contrasts sharply with the Bianconeri’s struggles in Serie A, where they have won just two of six matches.
It marked a second consecutive defeat for Chelsea, which was beat 1-0 at home by Manchester City on Saturday.
Chelsea was without the injured Reece James, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic; while midfielder N’Golo Kante missed the trip after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Juventus also had injury concerns with Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata both out.
But Chiesa and Bernardeschi, key members of Italy’s run to the European Championship title, made sure they weren’t missed.
Matteo Pessina, another member of the victorious Italy team, scored in Atalanta’s 1-0 win over Young Boys.