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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 6 April, 2020
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Results:

Barcelona 3-2 Spartak Moscow
Bayern Munich 2-1 Valencia
Braga 0-2 CFR Cluj-Napoca
Celtic 0-0 Benfica
Chelsea 2-2 Juventus
Lille 1-3 BATE Borisov
Man United 1-0 Galatasaray
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 FC Nordsjaelland

Good evening and welcome to our liveblog of Champions League Wednesday.

We’ll be focusing on the Chelsea-Juve game, but will also keep you up to date on tonight’s other matches, and in particular, those involving the British sides.

Here are the line-ups for all the games involving British sides in the competition tonight:

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Hazard, Oscar, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Mata, Moses, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Bertrand.

Juventus: Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah, Giovinco, Vucinic. Subs: Storari, Lucio, Giaccherini, Quagliarella, Matri, Isla, Marrone.

Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Izaguirre, Wilson, Mulgrew, Lustig, Brown, Commons, Wanyama, Miku, Forrest. Subs: Zaluska, Ambrose, Rogne, Slane, Lassad, Watt, Hooper.

Benfica: Artur, Garay, Jardel, Andre Almeida, Aimar, Gaitain, Matic, Perez, Salvio, Rodrigo, Melgarejo. Subs: Paulo Lopes, Miguel Vitor, Bruno Cesar, Nolito, Andre Gomes, Oscar Cardozo, Lima.

Man Utd: De Gea, Da Silva, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Nani, Kagawa, van Persie. Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Anderson, Hernandez, Welbeck, Cleverley, Fletcher.

Galatasaray: Muslera, Eboue, Nounkeu, Kaya, Balta, Altintop, Felipe Melo, Inan, Amrabat, Burak Yilmaz, Bulut. Subs: Ceylan, Cris, Aydin Yilmaz, Elmander, Riera, Baytar, Colak.

And we’re underway…

Opta informs me that Juventus have lost their last six Champions League games in England.

So the omens aren’t exactly great for the Italian side, who perhaps are less than adept at coping with the breakneck Premier League-style pace that the English teams invariably adopt at home in Europe.

As I type, David Luiz meets a corner, but fails to connect properly with the ball, and it goes straight into the grateful goalkeeper’s arms.

United are already 1-0 up against Galatasaray, with the goal coming from a player who has received a considerable portion of criticism from the club’s fans over the course of his time there – Michael Carrick.

The Juventus defenders are essentially bear-hugging the Chelsea attackers whenever the hosts have a corner.

It’s incredible how rarely such behaviour is penalised.

With Chelsea having enjoyed the better of the opening stages, Juventus are now beginning to string a few passes together and dictate the play.

Nonetheless, as I type, Torres has a half-chance with a header from relatively close range that he fails to properly connect with, and consequently, the ball bobbles harmlessly away from the goal.

A lapse in concentration from Ivanovic, as he plays Marchisio onside.

The Italian midfielder finds himself through on goal as a result, but Cech does well to come out quickly and smother his attempted shot.

It’s been quite a lively and entertaining opening 20 minutes.

Ivanovic looks half-asleep at the moment, as he makes what could have been another costly error.

He gives the ball straight to the opposition inside his own half, allowing Juve to start a counter-attack, but Vucinic scuffs it wide with the goal at his mercy..

GOAL FOR CHELSEA!

GOAL FOR CHELSEA!

It’s a dream debut for the Brazilian, Oscar, as he scores two goals in quick succession.

The first is a tad fortuitous, as his shot from just outside the area takes a wicked deflection off the boot of Bonucci.

However, there’s nothing lucky about his second goal. He takes clever touch to take the ball away from Pirlo, before curling a sublime shot into the top corner.

GOAL FOR JUVENTUS!

Juventus are back in this game, as Vidal‘s strike from the edge of the area appears to take a slight deflection off a lunging John Terry and consequently finds the corner of the net, giving Cech no chance.

It’s been a great game to watch.

HALF-TIME: CHELSEA 2-1 JUVENTUS

I don’t know about you, but I think we picked the right game to cover this evening.

It’s been hugely entertaining at Stamford Bridge, with both sides consistently showing a willingness to attack in numbers.

Moreover, that Juve goal a little before half-time keeps the game interesting from the neutrals’ perspective.

The second half has begun…

A powerful shot from Ivanovic is parried away from goal by Buffon.

Shortly thereafter, Lampard forces the Italian goalkeeper to save a well-struck free-kick.

In tonight’s other game featuring a Premier League side, Nani has just missed a penalty.

And speaking of penalties, Hazard has just had a pretty strong claim for one turned down, as he outpaces Barzagli in the penalty area, before the two players’ knees seem to collide.

Romulo has just given Spartak Moscow a shock lead away to Barcelona, with an assist from Ireland’s Aiden McGeady.

In addition, the UEFA website has described the Irish winger as “a threat throughout”.

Juventus are beginning to increase the pressure on the Chelsea goal.

Unsurprisingly, the tempo has dropped to an extent in this second half, but it nevertheless remains an intriguing game to watch.

There’s just been a pretty dreadful tackle from Bonucci on Oscar, with his studs connecting with the Chelsea player’s ankle.

It looks like the talented Brazilian will be able to continue though.

Juan Mata replaces Oscar.

“Will it be an Oscar-winning performance though?” asks Ian Darke, causing the majority of viewers to cringe in the process.

Brilliant football from Mata and Hazard, who exchange a series of passes, before the former blasts the ball into the side netting.

That would have been as good, if not better than Oscar’s earlier effort.

GOAL FOR JUVENTUS!

That’s probably deserved, but it comes from Chelsea making two basic errors.

Mikel, who’s been poor tonight, plays the ball straight to Marchisio.

John Terry tries and fails to play offside, stepping up too late, leaving Quagliarella all on his own – having been found by Marchisio’s inch-perfect pass - to slip it through Cech’s legs.

Quagliarella has just hit a curling effort, not dissimilar to Oscar’s strike, onto the top of the crossbar.

Chelsea are looking tired, as Juve continue to pass the ball around eloquently, as they have done for much of the game.

Man United fans will be happy to hear that Darren Fletcher has turned out for them for the first time in ten months, coming on as a late substitute.

(Members of the armed forces carry the Champions League Trophy around the pitch prior to kick off – Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association) Images

FULL-TIME: CHELSEA 2-2 JUVENTUS

FULL-TIME: CELTIC 0-0 BENFICA

FULL-TIME: MAN UNITED 1-0 GALATASARY

So, Chelsea get the result they probably deserved.

Juventus unquestionably had the better of the second half and though their equaliser was deserved, it was the result of individual errors from both Terry and Mikel.

Chelsea can take a lot of positives from the game, despite wilting slightly in the second, and look to have an made another excellent signing in the form of Oscar.

Roberto Di Matteo calls it “a good game of football” and said his side “deserved” a draw.

He acknowledges that Chelsea “made a couple of mistakes on the goals”.

Over on RTE, John Giles has reiterated his previously stated desire to see Wayne Rooney played in midfield.

It’ll be interesting to see how/if he fits into the side, with both Kagawa and Van Persie showing decent form of late.

And thus concludes our liveblog for tonight.

Thanks for reading and commenting, it’s been a pleasure as always.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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