Chelsea 2-2 Juventus

Di Matteo hails Oscar's perfect debut

September 19, 2012
By ESPN staff

Roberto Di Matteo hailed the impact of new signing Oscar after the Brazilian ignited Chelsea's tie with Juventus on his Champions League debut.

Oscar
PA PhotosOscar fires home his first Chelsea goal to give the European champions the lead against Juventus

• Chelsea 2-2 Juventus

Oscar grabbed each of Chelsea's goals in the 2-2 draw, both efforts coming within the space of two minutes. His first took a nick off Leonardo Bonucci but his second was a work of art, sidestepping two players before curling a shot into the top corner.

But Juve grabbed a vital goal just before the break as Arturo Vidal drilled home a low shot after being offered too much space on the edge of the box. And the comeback was complete with ten minutes left as Fabio Quagliarella rounded off a move that started with a misplaced pass by John Obi Mikel.

Di Matteo was purring over Oscar though, even though the holders had to settle for as point. "Oscar's debut was fantastic. He was tactically perfect and it was the right game for him to start his career with us," the manager told Sky Sport Italia.

"It was a good game played well by both sides. We have regrets, as we were 2-0 up and couldn't win it. Juve are full of quality, we knew that, and it is difficult to play against them. We made a few mistakes in defence and allowed them to score two goals.

"Pirlo dictates the tempo of the team, so it was important not to give him space or time on the ball. That was Oscar's job tonight and he did it well. I think we should've pushed harder for the third goal to finish off the game, but we made a mistake on the second goal when losing possession cheaply in midfield."

Oscar's other role was to track Andrea Pirlo and though the Italian midfielder's influence was slightly curtailed, Juve coach Massimo Carrera was pleased with the way his other stars stepped in.

He said: "We know that Andrea is man-marked, as everyone knows he is the centre of our play, so we have different options such as central midfielders who must come forward with the ball to feet.

"During the week we watch the players and see who is in the best shape. Ale Matri played on Sunday, but Fabio shows perfectly that everyone is needed at Juve and can make the difference when called upon.

"He scored a great goal and threatened to win it at the end. We had a great performance and proved we can play on a par with anyone. Giovinco does what we ask him to, as the strikers need to play into space. He will get better fitness levels soon and no doubt make himself heard in Europe as well."

Carerra was pleased with his side's spirit after they refused to throw in the towel at 2-0 down. "The first goal was when we only had 10 men, as Vidal was out injured. We accept that, but obviously it didn't help," he added.

"We started badly at Genoa, but here we took the initiative and controlled the game, creating two or three chances in the first half. Of course when playing against Chelsea you will have to give away some scoring opportunities eventually.

"We are happy to have got this game back on track after being 2-0 down. Now we take this point and from tomorrow prepare for Serie A."

Gianluigi Buffon, who was making his 400th appearance for the Old Lady, couldn't help be impressed with Oscar's cameo: "Oscar turned on a sixpence and put the ball under the bar. I won't say it's nice to concede a goal, but it's still nice to be a part of a great goal like that. Compliments to him," he said.

"Clearly we are all happy to have equalised away to the reigning champions, but analysing the game we were 2-0 down in a fairly unexpected way, as we had been playing on a par with Chelsea. The fact we were 2-0 down was harsh considering the performances of the two teams.

"The statistics say we aren't keeping clean sheets at the moment. As long as it's three or four games, that is one thing, but if this run stretches on then that is a warning sign we ought to work on.

"It went the way I expected, not better or worse. In order to not disappoint and to confirm its belief, the team had to make this performance. It is certainly difficult, if not impossible, to win the Champions League this season. It would also be a very arrogant thing to consider in September.

"We reinforced our squad with important elements and it is allowing us to play every game our way - with a high tempo and lots of quality, trying to impose our football on the opposition.

"If we can keep this up throughout the season, then of course we can look to building on it. The difference between a victory and defeat can often be the size of an upright or a deflection, as Chelsea saw last season."